I have two teenaged nephews and two techie kids
and the topic of conversation lately has been “once you put it on the Internet, it stays there forever.” The ‘it’ can be photos, words or anything else – once it is there, it is there forever. It seems that former Business Insider CTO Pax Dickinson didn’t care about this little nuance of the ‘net because his history of sexist, racist and classist comments on Twitter have cost this self-proclaimed ‘brogrammer’ his job.
The tech sector is one part of the male-dominated
STEM fields – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. In the 1990s I worked at a call-in PC tech support center and upon answering the phone one day, I heard a customer say, “Oh gosh, it’s a girl.” I thought to myself, “why yes, sir, I am a girl, great observation” but instead continued with my usual greeting. This happened nearly 20 years ago and the STEM field is still male-dominated today.
Just because the field is male-dominated, it doesn’t mean that techies should be prejudiced and rude. Unfortunately, Dickinson and other ‘brogrammers’ (a combination of bros and programmers) don’t seem to care that there are also female techies. CNNMoney.com
shared a few of Dickinson’s misogynistic tweets:
"Not on a list of influential people? Whine that it didn't include enough women and maybe they'll lower the bar for you. #femaleprivilege"
"Feminism in tech remains the champion topic for my block list. My finger is getting tired."
The entire situation is frustrating but the most irritating aspect of it all is that Dickinson was a c-level employee. He was the Chief Technology Officer, not some entry-level programmer. Whether he likes it or not, when he spoke he was speaking for the company. Obviously Business Insider didn’t like what was going on and Dickinson is no longer an employee. He may have been fired or he may have quit, but he doesn’t work there anymore.
Twenty years ago sexism was rampant in the tech industry and it looks like it is still a major issue today. Let’s hope that by the time the 2030s roll around, women won’t have to deal with this misogynistic nonsense any longer.