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Twitter CEO failed joke on Gender Imbalance
Twitter is the ultimate boys' club: With around 2,000 employees, just a single woman among its top officials.The board? All white men. The investors? All men. The executive officers? All men but for the general counsel, Vijaya Gadde, who has had the job for five weeks.
In a New York Times article on the group's mostly male cast on Friday, technology entrepreneur and academic Vivek Wadhwa was quoted saying
"This is the elite arrogance of the Silicon Valley mafia, the Twitter mafia. It's the same male chauvinistic thinking. The fact that they went to the I.P.O. without a single woman on the board, how dare they?"
The respone from Twitter? CEO Dick Costolo replied to the piece with an agressive tweet: "Vivek Wadhwa is the Carrot Top of academic sources."
Needless to say, this is no jole and Costolo's followers weren't exactly enthused.
In true Twitter fashion, with replies like: "This eloquent response to lack of women at Twitter.", "Surprised & disappointed: I thought @dickc cared about including women:(", and our personal favorite, "Dude, weak."
As Gawker pointed out, "Twitter will surely snap up a woman for its board as soon as possible, in order to deflect this kind of criticism," and we agree, but that doesn't make this kind of behavior tolerable (or funny), especially for a company already under fire.
Having women executives matters not just for purposes of equality, business analysts say, but for product development and the bottom line. More women use social media than men, according to a Pew Research Center study last month ; men and women use Twitter roughly equally. Twitter earns revenue from advertising and women are the chief consumers.
Even as women make significant headway in fields from law to business, and technology zooms along as one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy, its doors remain virtually closed to women. Just 5.7 percent of employed women in the United States work in the computer industry, and only about 2 percent of women have a degree in a high-tech field, according to Catalyst, a prominent research firm studying women and business.
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