The panel consisted of Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer; Google’s SVP of search Alan Eustace; Blake Irving, CEO of GoDaddy; and Tayloe Stansbury, CTO of Intuit. The assembled white men set out to tell the audience what their companies are doing to make women more welcome and how men and women (yes, that’s right—women, too) can change the boys’ club culture in tech.
Instead, they ended up reinforcing many of the stereotypes women are already all too familiar with. In essence, their advice to women was: Work harder, build great things, speak up for yourself, lean in. It got so bad that at one point, the audience started heckling the speakers.
“I don’t think people are actively protecting the [toxic culture] or holding on to it … or trying to keep [diverse workers] from the power structure that is technology,” Eustace said. “I don’t think that’s it.”
To which women in the audience said very loudly: “Yes it is!”
• • •
The highlight of the evening was “Ally Bingo,” a satirical scorecard activists handed out at the beginning of the talk. Each square contained a common phrase uttered by men at panels and events such as these—for instance, “I am related to a woman” or “I asked a woman and she agreed with me.”
About midway through the talk, one woman cried “BINGO!”