Yes there bloody is!

There’s absolutely no excuse for Twitter not to have a woman on its board

It’s their company, their property, they can have whoever the hell they like on the board of it. Shit, it’s not even a publicly listed company, is it?

All of its investors are also male

And? Seriously? You think this is some appalling form of sexism because only men put their money up to fund this company?

It has a very familiar ring to it. Most newspapers traditionally have more female staff, but they remain under-represented in senior positions.

Yep, the motherhood gap. We know all about that, carry on.

When it comes to sources, men are quoted more often than women, who remain a minority in the eyes of newsgatherers.

Yes, that follows. The majority of those quoted are the powerful: which because of the above will be a male skewed group.

That the same patterns of sexism emerge from a young company without a chauvinistic legacy like that of traditional media is alarming.

Yer what? Bunch of blokes risk their money together, succeed, and now this is sexism?

None of the usual reasons sufficiently add to a good enough pardon as to why in 2013, women still lack a board seat in a young, ground-breaking company. Rather, they point to a solid justification of why there should be one, or more. No excuses.

Dear God. Look, this is not your property. You do not decide what happens to it. You want a woman on the board? You want to be the woman on the board? Go find $15 billion and buy the thing then do as you wish. Until then fuck off because it ain’t yours.

30 comments on “Yes there bloody is!

  1. Usual hilarious double standards. If you find an all-female x (where x = company, club, society, golf club &c &c) and point out the dichotomy, the first answer that comes back is “there are so many all-male ones that this is just a drop in the ocean / a blow for equality” as if the answer to sexism was ‘more sexism.’

    For quite a long time as a young man I would engage with these sorts of moronic argument and patiently explain that no, I was in favour of equality, I just didn’t think feminism as practised today actually was. Now I don’t bother, and simply embrace my role as a chauvinistic member of the patriachy. It’s much more fun and I find I have fewer boring conversations with earnest women with frizzy hair and disappointing faces.

  2. Christ I’m tired of this sort of bitching.

    Anyone can start a startup tech company. Buy a few programming books, learn it, build it, put it out there with some ads. Firebox started with someone borrowing £10K from his mum, and he now runs Mind Candy. The idea that there’s some fucking “Silicon Valley mafia” old school network is a joke.

    And what, she thinks there should be a woman on the board when there just aren’t any women doing tech startups (OK, there’s a few, but really, I have met 2 in the past decade compared to hundreds of men). Who does she think these board members are? They’re people with experience in either running or investing in startups.

    Most women I meet at business events are running cupcake or massage businesses.

  3. Men are hideously underrepresented in the cupcake business.

    yeah, you often find men underrepresented in certain fields, and rarely do you find women desperately demanding more male colleagues (pretty much the only area where this has happened, IIRC, is teaching, and specifically at primary level) with whom to compete.*

    Likewise, you rarely find intense competition from women to be allowed into the refuse collection industry, the construction industry, &c. They only ever seem to want to do the easy, fun or well-remunerated stuff.** I can’t think why. One might almost think that this whole equality thing was about personal gratification rather than actual equality.

    *the apogee of this being the wimbledon equal-pay thing. Not demanding to compete with men, you understand. Not even demanding to compete in the same way as men. Just demanding the same money for less work.

    **Okay, important caveat; front line soldiering. There are a few women who are rather peeved that they aren’t allowed to do that. I would submit, though, that they’re a rather self-selecting and unrepresentative group.

  4. The Board of Directors are, by definition, supposed to represent the shareholders. In some companies they are required to be shareholders. As Twitter has no female shareholders it is a bit difficult to find a female shareholder to sit on the board.

  5. How did I know before following the link that this was:

    a) Written by a woman

    b) Published in The Guardian

    ?

    Absolute cobblers but depressingly familiar.

    Your line at the end (about getting a few mill together and starting your own business which can then be run as you like) is one which could be extended into so many other areas we see today.

    Red Ed’s energy price-freezes, for example. Go and set up an energy company and charge what you want, Ed!

  6. @Anthem

    ‘Red Ed’s energy price-freezes, for example. Go and set up an energy company and charge what you want, Ed!’

    I have used this a number of times in Guardian comments sections, where they are moaning about pay. If it’s that easy, start your own business and pay what you like. But it’s a little easier to moan from the sidelines.

  7. I know a woman who runs an engineering company. Hard engineering, not software. She is the most non-feminist person I know. No feminist would stand a chance against her.

  8. Also, in my experience, the biggest obstacle preventing bright, ambitious women from advancing in an organization are the more senior bright, ambitious women.

  9. Where I work, at the Bar, the women are an interesting mix. The older, more experienced examples are seriously tough. Men in black skirts, with a drinking habit to match. For the most part, you just wouldn’t. I’m never sure whether they were born that way or had to become that way. The more lissom specimens….well, time will tell. My sense is that they leave.

  10. Another almost interesting observation is, per Tim Newman’s otherwise objectionable comment, in my profession it’s only the female judges who micturate on female barristettes. Male judges either give them a wide birth or drool over them. I have no sense that female barristettes micturate on each other. Something to do with being self-employed, I think. We’re a strangely cooperative bunch.

    Female judges, btw, often flirt outrageously with male counsel. Or come over all school-marmish. Not scientific, obviously, just my impression.

  11. I think what we are seeing is part of a shakedown effort. In the good old days, most girls didn’t give a damn what all the dorks were doing and left them to it. Wouldn’t date one in a million years. Didn’t care about computers at all.

    But now those nerds are worth billions. Every girl likes Facebook. OK, that is slightly exaggerated. 99.9% of them do. And the constant affirmations they get using it – “Oh my God, you look so nice in that outfit” blah blah blah.

    So they want in. They want some of that money.

    Rather than start their own damn Facebook, they are trying to bully their way in through accusations of sexism. This one is at least honest. The usual way is to claim sexism and then demand more women are employed. There have been a raft of other minor attempts recently. Adria Richards objected to some men sitting behind her making jokes about “dongles”. She put their photos up on the internet and got one of them fired. Strangely enough her own company fired her in turn.

    Computer programmers have been very male, in a very dorky way, up to now. I would guess they will continue to be so. But some women will continue to demand that the workplace is made “safe” for people like them. And the dorky people who actually contribute will increasingly find something else to do.

  12. M’learned Mr Lud
    ” I have no sense that female barristettes micturate on each other. Something to do with being self-employed, I think.”
    You must be a strangely competitive bunch.
    My own impression of women in competitive self-employment is of a constant low level war going on. Any other’s success is a cause for anguish & jealousy & must be de-railed if possible. It’s a direct contrast to men, who will see advantage in cooperating with competitors if mutual advantage can be gained. Maybe there’s a parallel in fights. Blokes tend to go through a lot of ritual squaring up & hold me coat & end up with the odd slap.. Two women just dive in & try & kill each other.

  13. Mr in Spain, you may be right. I’m famously obtuse in such matters. I love your prose style, by the way – sort of Martin Amis meets Ross Kemp.

    Tim Newman, I meant ‘UNobjectionable’, sorry it appeared otherwise.

  14. @M’learned Mr Lud,
    For this ignorant ex-pat, who’s Ross Kemp? A Booker winner? For that matter who’s Martin Amis?

  15. Mr in Spain, Ross Kemp is a famous journalist, chronicler of gangs and Talibans. La Amis is famous for his fine set of teeth, a truly first-rate set of gnashers.

  16. @ SMFS
    “Computer programmers have been very male, in a very dorky way, up to now.”
    Not invariably. When I was a trainee programmer in the mid-60s, one of the top programmers in the division for which I worked was female, and so was the youngest (excluding us trainees).

  17. Sorry, no. That’s a fiction created by feminists who need some kind of female pioneer in computer science to hold up as a signifier of something or other. All the programs Lovelace published were found in Babbage’s earlier notes, and at least one mathematician has examined her private correspondence with Babbage and opined that there was no way she had the understanding of the maths necessary to create original programming.

    She deserves some credit for publicizing and popularizing Babbage’s work, as he was notoriously cranky and misanthropic about it, but a programmer she was not.

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