CANDACE FLEMING’S résumé boasts a double major in industrial engineering and English from Stanford, an M.B.A. from Harvard, a management position at Hewlett-Packard and experience as president of a small software company.
But when she was raising money for Crimson Hexagon, a start-up company she co-founded in 2007, she recalls one venture capitalist telling her that it didn’t matter that she didn’t have business cards, because all they would say was “Mom.”
It's shocking to read this clearly sexist account in the NY Times' article because we don't hear about it happening in a professional setting (although it still makes for a racy opening for a Coding/Founding Damsels in Distress article). But deeper discrimination than soundbytes on the venture capitalist circuit are preventing women from entering the tech industry in vast numbers. Lemme break it down for you using the beloved If-Then Transitive Property.
Assumption 1: If you work in tech, then you don't like people.
p = "You work in tech"
q = "You don't like people"
Bear with me, my close and very social technical peers, and consider this statement for the industry at large and not just the recent web movement.
If you majored in CS, chances are that one of your classmates switched
majors to something
less technical, and cited "I'm a
people person" as their reason for switching. If you didn't major in
CS, you probably have an anecdotal story about the Math or Engineering
Club as the collection of the most socially awkward kids in school. Movies have historically overemphasized the nerd nature of anyone remotely technical. Only in more recent movies has technology been used by all types of people in a natural and ubiquitous rather than character-foiling way.
The statement is the most true for newcomers considering a career in the industry, or to those just getting started.
Assumption 2: If you don't like people, then you are not a woman.
And for sure we were gawking at the Chinese tourists as much as we were at the pandas - we couldn't believe that they were feeding bread to the red pandas even though there were signs everywhere that said "NO FEEDING", and some middle aged Chinese dude who thought he was being pretty awesome climbed on top of a fence and consequently got yelled at by the staff. I swear he had the same "who, me? It wasn't me!!" look that our cat gives us when he knows he's done something wrong but is totally trying to play it off as if it had never happened.
WEATHER: B. Very sunny, but cool and allergy-ridden.
CHERRY BLOSSOM STATUS: We're really in the peak season at this point. As you can see in the closeup of the slideshow's 10th photo, the cherries along the Esplanade are really only at 50% bloom. It's also important to note that although the official BBG map treats all cherries as equal, clearly, they are not. Most of today's closeups show a more fluffy, round, large, almost American-looking blossom, while the photos from the last two weeks have smaller blossoms with more elegant branch structures, similar to weeping willows.
NOTABLES: We walked a different path today to walk through the Fragrance garden which, honestly, need some work. It's smelly alright but there are many competing flowers in a small space so it's hard to determine what you're smelling.
Sippey found this incredible video of a new effing level of story-telling. Confession: this is literally the first commercial that appealed to me and made me say "WANT"; all other previous WANTs were out of jealousy of my peers. Seriously, no black turtleneck is needed to sell this one, my friends. You know how most Pixar movie reviews gush that "it's just as fun for the adults"? Booyah, progeny, this one's for your makers.
I nabbed my 'Mommy Like' catchphrase from these Toyota Sienna commercials. The mom here is actually funny! She's cute, not gorgeous; smart, not obnoxious, and purposefully painted as a little detached. Her imperfection is refreshing.
I love these Kindle commercials -- both this one with the lovers and the original are both ultra-lady friendly. They play up the range of motions that books give me and how books can tie people together. ALL TO A CUTE INDIE DUET.
Why all of this commercial love? Because ads for women usually suck, and Sarah Haskins taught me that there are three female commercial archetypes: the Hottie, the Mommy, or the Granny. Only a selected few can Mom-A-Morphasize between the preferred types, one of them being Brooke Shields.
WEATHER: A+. The weather would only feel nicer if we could carry margaritas with us.
CHERRY BLOSSOM STATUS: Intense bloomage around the pond; Cherry Promenade continues to sleep. Kate and I wondered why the BBG has their big bloom celebration at the end of April, since the pond activity should yield the most attention. We agreed it had to do with crowd control, and also agreed that a barge in the pond to hold the extra blossom-lovers would be inappropriate.
ANIMALS? OMG IT WAS TURTLE DAY. We counted over 21 visible turtles floating in the pond. Kate and I are beginning to think that they're planted just like the iguanas in Tulum ruins. Also, we saw two ducks perched on top of the wooden artwork in the middle of the pond, which is about 20 feet of elevation from the water level. We agreed that the turtles would sun themselves up there if they had the means.
...BUNNIES?? [Sigh] No. I'm anticipating them so hard that I think my presence repels them from my path.
NOTABLES: We discovered a Celebrity Path between the pond and the clubhouse area. It was fun to play "Who the hell is that Brooklynite?" on what we thought was a new BBG feature although it's been around (and even blogged about) since 2007. I'd estimate that about 65% of the plants at the BBG this trip were blooming in a notable and colorful way. In addition to the glorious Cherry Blossoms, the magnolia trees were just plain showing off, and we even found a tree that looked like it was blooming yellow tulips.