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July 11, 2008

Mercury News Article: Female CEO's in SV Tech Firms Down to Zero

I just read in Techmeme ( San Jose Mercury article) that female CEO's at top Silicon Valley tech firms is down to Zero". Know it All pointed me to an article from last year that discussed why women leave IT.  I also asked the question "do women in tech leave their careers early" in a prior post. The issues behind women in tech management positions is complicated, with work life balance being one of the top issues. But when I see these types of articles, it does bother me. While there may be - at this moment in time - no women CEO's in top tech firms in Silicon Valley, there are many women in management. I would rather see articles that look at the total picture - instead of just one position (CEO) at one moment in time.

I spend lots of time at girl geek events and let me tell ya - the good news is that there are many amazing women in tech out there. Just a few weeks ago I liveblogged a Girl Geek Dinner where managers/developers from Facebook and women who developed Facebooks apps spoke.  With local groups like Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners, Women 2.0, BlogHer, Girls in Tech and other tech influential women - I see many examples of female leadership potential in the technology field. As I said in my post about women and tech careers, Web 2.0 opens doors to working mothers to get back in the field if they have take temporary leave to spend time with their kids.

So while Diane Greene leaving VMware is intriguing, what I see from my own networks and the tech news is that women are making inroads in tech management overall. For example, Google, Yahoo, HP, Facebook, and Oracle have women in top management positions. Knowing this, makes me (as a female consumer) feel better about these companies overall. Because if there are no women in top management positions, how can a company really understand the needs of women consumers - which do most of the household spending. In the long run, NOT having women in top mangement positions is a LIABILITY for any company that wants to court women consumers. That includes technology companies, because don't underestimate how tech savvy women are - including moms!

This is an important message for that guy at the Web 2.0 booth that would not talk to me about his product when I told him I was a mom blogger looking into technology. He gave me the old "you won't really understand what this product is for" look. Well, mister, you don't understand that the mom blogger talking to ya at Web 2.0 comes from a programming background and probably understands your product better then you do...


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It's becoming increasingly evident that American Women are Gender Supremacists. American Women are the most privileged group in the history of the world. They are the safest, the most pampered, and with the most options available to them of any group (including those horrible members of the "patriarchy") the world has ever seen. Despite this fact, their "voice" is now a shrill cacophony of loud complaints that is heard above all others. When are you going to step back and recognize the damage that Feminism has done and continues to do? Don't Mothers who have Sons recognize this?

Damage that feminism has done? I don't agree.. and I have three sons... And the voices of women in tech are not "shrill" or "complaint" ridden but women making inroads in a male dominated area...

Thanks for such a valuable discussion. With tremendous regret, I left a management position at Microsoft for all the usual work/life balance problems. The loss was huge for me personally, and if mourning that loss makes me shrill, then whatever. What many people overlook is that it's also a loss for the companies and for the industry. When an employee with that much training, experience, influence, and ability walks out the door, it hurts everybody. So it's in the industry's best interests not just to create opportunities for women, but to find ways to retain thoe employees when their lives grow more complicated.

Yes, yes...feminism has destroyed this country! What with women earning their own money, having credit cards with their own names on it, and *gasp* outearning their husbands! We have mothers teaching their sons to respect women and girls! For shame! Horror! I want to go back to the good old days when women stayed home and wore heels while they vacuumed. Nothing went wrong when women were safely at home.

I think for families with BOTH parents working in high-tech, it can be even more challenging raising a family since many jobs in high tech are extremely stressful. This was one of the reasons I left my job (in telecommunications). I just didn't think it fair to our children that both parents had such demanding jobs that required so much over-time, etc. Getting paged 24x7 while taking care of the kids would be extremely difficult.

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