According to Bloomberg Technology and Studio 1.0 anchor Emily Chang, Silicon Valley’s problems go beyond the sex and drugs that can take place at professional “gatherings.”
Yes, Chang writes about sex and drugs at Silicon Valley parties in her first-ever book, Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys Club of Silicon Valley. But there’s far more to the problem than juicy tales like those. Chang recounts other instances of severe gender inequality that exist in a field that prides itself on being progressive and forward thinking.
The San Francisco-based Chang wants to start an open conversation about inequality in Silicon Valley, and hopes it begins with the tales she tells in her book, which includes interviews with PayPal co-founder Max Levchin and Facebook coo Sheryl Sandberg to engineers, startup founders, and others.
“I have been covering Silicon Valley for 8 years, and in whispers everyone would talk about the gender problem,” Chang remarked at the Brotopia book launch party, thrown Tuesday evening by Bloomberg Businessweek at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York.
“Women would complain about it, men would nod their heads, but when you would try to get them in front of a camera or on the record saying it, no one would say what they really thought. At a certain point, I became baffled by how a progressive industry would have such inequality. It really is staggering.”
At the party, Chang expressed thanks to the Bloomberg TV tech reporters who gave her tips and who shared sources with her for this book. Chang, much to our chagrin, didn’t expound on any of the juicy tales from the book, instead telling partygoers to open up the book and read for themselves, and “tell your friends to buy as many copies as possible.”
The tech TV newser said Brotopia was dedicated in part to her sons, one of whom she gave birth to while writing it.
“I believe that is important because let’s be honest, Silicon Valley is changing the way all of us live, and it matters to our children because these companies are creating the products, the video games and the social media that they use,” said Chang, who has made cameos in the HBO comedy about life in Silicon Valley.
“I really hope in the second half of my lifetime, things will be more equal. I hope that having a woman engineer, or a woman CEO or a woman running for president, or a woman directing a Hollywood film becomes normal.”