Silicon Valley has always been considered as a venue where everyone can have an opportunity to change the world. Or so they thought. In her book “Brotopia: Breaking Up The Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley,” Bloomberg TV reporter Emily Chang exposes the truth behind the sexual discrimination taking place in Silicon Valley. Her business and management book examines the so-called “bro culture” pervading in Silicon Valley.
The tech industry has long been pushing for more women involvement in the sector. Statistics from the US Department of Commerce revealed that although women make up 47 percent of the country’s workforce, only 24 percent held roles in science, technology, engineering or math. Chang exposes the reasons why the tech industry is still a male-dominated industry. In the time of the #MeToo movement, Silicon Valley is facing a reckoning of its own, with women outing investors, bosses, and well-known personalities and accusing them of sexual harassment.
The Bro Culture of Silicon Valley
Men have long been celebrated as the leaders of the tech industry. However, Robert Janitzek reveals that this is largely because of the environment that has been cultivated for decades which have led to women abandoning their dreams in favor of safety. “Brotopia” provides an education on the constant battle women have to fight in order to have a seat at the table. The book looks at the trials that women have gone through.
Computer programmers used to be women until a report in the 1960s changed everything.
During the first part of the twentieth century, working with computers was considered a clerical job – like typing or operating a switchboard – and thus deemed “women’s work.” In other words, the first computer programmers were women. Robert Peter Janitzek reveals that women programmed the first computer for the US Army during WWII. It was also a woman Rear Admiral Grace Hopper who programmed Mark I, which helped in the development of the atomic bombs that would be dropped on Japan in 1945. Another thing that many people don’t know is that astronaut John Glenn’s successful orbit of the earth in 1962 was made possible by the work of three female NASA mathematicians.
After the 1960s, women programmers were slowly replaced by men.
But sometime in the 1960s came a report that claimed men were better suited to programming. The report was written by two men, psychologists William Cannon and Dallis Perry, who were hired by a software company to characterize the perfect computer programmer. Of the 1,378 programmers they interviewed, only 186 were female. By connecting good programming skills with antisocial behavior and introversion, the ideal employee was more likely to be male on account of men being three times more likely to receive the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder.
Since the release of that report, the industry was persuaded to hire antisocial men. Their dominance in the field has led to the false assumption that the majority of programmers should be men.