Facebook’s Mary Lou Jepsen: Tech Still Tough for Women

Mary Lou Jepsen has a high-level position working with virtual reality, but she shed some light on the actual reality for females trying to advance in the tech sector.

Mary Lou Jepsen has a high-level position working with virtual reality, but she shed some light on the actual reality for females trying to advance in the tech sector.

The Facebook executive director of engineering, who leads the display group at recent acquisition Oculus VR, spoke with Rachel Bracker of Re/code about her experiences at Google X and Facebook.

When asked if she ever considered leaving the technology sector, Jepsen replied:

You see very senior women leaving technology and the men stay, mostly because they feel quite isolated and are isolated by the very systems.

I mean, I left Google X. All the senior women have left Google X. I was the last to make it—I was, to be fair, the last there. Megan Smith left, Claire Hughes Johnson, vice presidents at Google left. There was a reason for that.

Re/code reported that Smith, who left Google to become chief technology officer in the administration of President Barack Obama, did not respond to a request for comment, while a spokeswoman for Johnson, who is now head of business operations at Stripe, would only offer a previous statement:

When I joined Google, it was a 1,500-person company, which I thought was huge, since I don’t think of myself as a corporate person. It’s exciting to be able to be part of the block and tackle of building a company from a smaller base … and this company has a vision that is different and has huge potential.

Readers: What else can be done to bring more women into the tech sector and see them advance further?

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