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Tech Insiders Challenge Their Industry's Diversity Problem

This week Google finally disclosed their diversity data. Of their total workforce, only 30 percent of employees are women. That percentage is lower when you concentrate on just the technology part of the company: A dismal 17 percent.

We’ve heard it before: The tech world is a boys’ club and it has a gender problem. Nine women from companies including Buzzfeed, Mozilla, and Kickstarter joined forces to write an open letter to their industry–a letter where they basically tell their male colleagues to step it up, drop the bias, and let them do their job.

In the letter, the women describe the sexism and other biased behavior they have experienced.

“We regularly receive creepy, rapey e-mails where men describe what a perfect wife we would be and exactly how we should expect to be subjugated. Sometimes there are angry e-mails that threaten us to leave the industry, because ‘it doesn’t need any more c**ts ruining it,” they wrote.

For Jessica Dillon, one of the letter’s co-authors, it was more than just emails.

“Months after entering the tech world… I was sexually assaulted multiple times by my direct manager and that’s not uncommon. And I thought that was just the price I had to pay for being in tech,” Dillon told Alicia Menendez.

These experiences propelled them to publicly address the need for greater diversity in the tech world.

“While this letter speaks specifically about our experiences as women in tech, to build true diversity in tech we must address more than one aspect of gender, more than any one aspect of our identities. Our efforts must address, and be inclusive of, race, class, sexuality, gender identity and expression, and their intersections. We need to be here for everybody,” the women explained in their letter.

Credit: Andrea Torres

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