It’s no secret that there is a serious lack of women in the tech industry — an issue that has organizations and individuals rallying to support women in STEM careers.
Groups such as Girls who Code are dedicated to educating and exposing young women to tech, and figures such as Sheryl Sandberg act as role models for aspiring engineers and innovators.
But where do men fit into those efforts?
Researcher and author Vivek Wadhwa told Bizwomen back in September that he considered himself a “champion for the cause.” Wadhwa has conducted extensive research on the topic, wrote the book “Innovating Women” and has been quoted in countless publications as an expert on the gender imbalance. Because of all this, he became a public figure in a contentious debate.
But after nine years, Wadhwa recently stepped out of the conversation entirely. A small group of women from Silicon Valley took to social media ( and then a radio show) to criticize Wadhwa for “speaking for women.” The criticism and pressure became so intense that Wadhwa called it quits.
“Of course it’s going to send the wrong signal, but what can I do?” Wadhwa told Bizwomen after publicly declaring his intentions to stay out of the fray. “That’s my fear: that men might be less likely to step into the spotlight and start talking about this. I’m glad I fought the battle. It was needed. It’s troublesome that it’s come to this.”
Now that leaves us wondering — what role should men play in resolving the tech industry’s gender problem?
It’s a question that we’ve posed to men and women in the tech industry. Here’s a look at four perspectives.
“It makes me really upset that articles like the blog scare men away,” Kay said in an interview with Bizwomen.
Written by Hilary Burns