Venture capitalist John Greathouse created quite a stir with his comments on how women should apply for tech jobs. A regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal for a column named “The Experts”, John Greathouse suggested that women should not reveal their gender when applying for tech jobs online, as The Guardian reported.
“A gender-neutral persona allows women to access opportunities that might otherwise be closed to them,” Greathouse writes in this piece. “In your LinkedIn profile, Twitter account, email address and online correspondence use your initials (or a unisex name) and eliminate photos.”
A suggestion like this coming from an “expert” is somewhat a slap in the face. This blog was not taken well by the audience who felt enraged by such a suggestion. And why wouldn’t they be? We do know that gender bias is a problem in many workplaces. The approach to fight this prejudice should not be to hide/disguise your identity but to educate people about equal opportunities on the basis of merit and not gender.
Here’s how Twitter responded to his blog:
Let me just be clear as I can: This VC is a fucking idiot https://t.co/qoJvGGAYuC
— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) September 29, 2016
Or, instead of telling women to hide their gender, we could work on fixing systemic bias & lack of diversity in tech.https://t.co/Bf7L1BwrXg
— Katherine Clark (@RepKClark) September 29, 2016
Mr. Greathouse did apologise for his “dreadful article”, acknowledging that his comments were insensitive and unhelpful.
— John Greathouse (@johngreathouse) September 29, 2016
Apology well taken, but at the same time, we have to take a moment here. Is his original piece — based on lived experience — not a reality check? We need to understand if this is actually a default thought of many people on how to cure gender problems — erase or ignore them? Does this say anything about our subconscious that goes for asking the victim to change ways rather than the perpetrator? Is this the result of the patriarchal upbringing of individuals all around the world?
Now more than ever we need to come together. Battling a problem is only possible if it is addressed at the right time with right measures, and challenging a thought process as such is the need of the hour. The fight against gender inequality sees many waves, and today we are not just asking for rights and laws that support women, but are challenging social thought process that has handicapped growth for centuries.
Feature Image Courtesy: emaze.com