Emily Chang’s latest book is showcasing where Silicon Valley’s culture of toxic masculinity originated, its consequences and what can be done about it
It’s hardly a secret tech startups in general and Silicon Valley in particular struggle with gender equality. Except for a few exceptions, the rule seems to be that women don’t make it to the top of the innovative elite. Despite behemoths like Facebook and Google all having made public pledges to provide equal opportunities to both men and women, they have so far failed miserably. In her new book, Emily Chang reveals why.
From the 1970s when groups of male data scientists turned a Playboy spread into one of the world’s first JPEGs via the 1980s cultivation of the nerd stereotype to the rise of the PayPal mafia, Chang expertly lays down how something isn’t just rotten in the state of tech but also how the corrosion has spread. And she shows exactly what the consequences of this toxic culture have been for the aspiring women in tech.
It’s difficult to read about the sexism both female founders and engineers go through but as the old saying goes, those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. That’s why this book is so important, because it shows where things went wrong so that they can change. And they are. While decades of sexism have wreaked havoc on countless women’s careers, Chang shows how a new generation of women in tech is having nothing of it. Times they are a-changing and not a minute too soon.
Penguin Random House,