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Silicon Valley’s Old Boy’s Club Women Speaking Out

This visibility should make all companies take a hard look at their culture regarding how women are treated.

Strong successful women are banding together and speaking up about the male dominance in the technology sector. These women have the resources and the connections to be taken seriously and to get the publicity and the notoriety to tell the world about the dysfunction women have experienced for decades. My career in technology, although successful, was full of “microaggressions” as coined by Kirsten Green, examples of having my advice ignored, being talked over, not invited to meetings and being interrupted. I also experienced harassment as many of these women have shared.

Fortune magazine published an article April 3, 2018 featuring 36 women, mostly in partner roles at VC Firms who have teamed up to form All Raise, a group committee to increasing the number of women in partner roles and to increase funding to women led start-ups.  I just finished reading Brotopia by Emily Chang and Reset by Ellen Pao who call out the gender inequities in the technology industry and in venture capital firms. These are powerful documentations about the tech culture in Silicon Valley. According to Harvard Business Review, women in tech leave their careers twice as often as men so 56% of women leave by the time they are at a midlevel role.

Silicon Valley leads the culture for the technology sector which trickles into other industries. My hope is for these women will open the dialog for change to take place for “normal” working women who have not had a choice but to tolerate workplace inequities. Most women with families to support, mortgages to pay and other responsibilities cannot risk speaking out in fear of losing their job and having their reputation tarnished in their working community. Companies and HR departments are structured to protect the male managers. When a woman files a complaint regarding inequality or harassment, she usually leaves the company because she cannot tolerate the cultural backlash. 

I strongly support the brave women who are leading the way to make our business climate more equitable for all. Join the SMART Movement.

Imperfectly yours,

Kimberlee Jo

 #timesup #allraise #brotopia #reset #jointhesmartmovement #leanin #smartisthenewperfect #kimberleejo

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