Marilyn Williams
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Marilyn Williams in Ladies first,

This is how bad it is for women in Silicon Valley

I work in Silicon Valley, a community where six- and seven-figure investments are routinely tossed at ideas that sometimes soar to success but more often than not, burn out like meteors. Silicon Valley is known for being forward-looking about technology, yet stunningly backward when it comes to gender.

The show “Silicon Valley,” with its all-male “incubator” of young, pot-smoking, coding geniuses making and losing millions, hits closer to home than one might think. Google “Silicon Valley” and “frat boy culture” and you’ll find dozens of links to mainstream news articles, blogs, letters, videos, and tweets, containing everything from threats of violence to sexist jokes to casual misogyny, not to mention the reports of gender-based hiring and firing and a financing system that rewards young men and shortchanges women. In this sense, Silicon Valley’s culture echoes New York City’s “Wolf of Wall Street” culture of the 1980s and ’90s.

But while Wall Street today seems tamer — thanks to lawsuits and diversity consultants in every corner — in Silicon Valley, the misogyny continues unabated. A potent shot of that Wall Street wolf-ism among Northern California’s venture capital boys’ club has created a particularly toxic atmosphere for women in Silicon Valley.

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