The technology industry has a gender problem. The vast majority of its Venture Capitalists are male as are the founders of its startups and its technology heads. Even the boards of its public companies are dominated by males.
It isn’t that women are not up to the job. The problem is that they are discouraged and left out. During childhood, girls are often sent the wrong signals by their parents. When they go to school, girls with an interest in engineering and science are called “tomboys”. When they defy the odds and become scientists or engineers, women are often treated as inferior and passed over for promotion.
Sadly, the deck has always been stacked against women—right through the ages. For example, in the 1730s, a brilliant woman mathematician, Emilie du Châtelet, translated and popularized Sir Isaac Newton’s arcane Principia Mathematica, and created a foundation for Einstein to develop his theories. She inspired Voltaire’s writings. But she received almost no recognition and few have ever heard of her. Similarly, a century later, Marie Curie performed pioneering research on radioactivity for which she received two Nobel prizes, yet she is less of a household name than Kim Kardashian. (more…)