Georgina Calvert-Lee comments on sexism in tech


In an IDG Connect article discussing the prevalence of sexism in the technology industry, our Senior Litigation Counsel, Georgina Calvert-Lee, addresses the discrimination and harassment still pervasive in STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

The article cites the recent Elephant in the Valley survey that found 60% of women working in Silicon Valley had experienced unwanted sexual advances, and explores what kind of progress women have made in technology, finance and business generally.

Georgina Calvert-Lee said that the 'boys-club culture that excludes women and minorities from participation' in STEM hurts women's career progress—not merely through obvious offenses ('roaming hands and online harassment') but also through 'less blatant ways in which women are made to feel second class'. These include men-only bonding trips or dismissals of female-colleagues' comments as 'too aggressive' or 'abrasive'.  These are, says Calvert-Lee, 'the thousand tiny cuts that frame attitudes about what women can and should be doing at work and restrict their opportunities'.

The article notes that according to recent research, a lack of diversity not only hurts women who are kept back, but business performance, because creativity and innovation driven by diversity produce the best results.