This Is the Wrong Way to Respond to Charges of Sexism

This Is the Wrong Way to Respond to Charges of SexismS

If your tech company doesn't have any women on its board—and almost no female executives at all—it's probably not a good idea to call one of your critics "Carrot Top" and get huffily defensive on Twitter.


Twitter CEO Takes Fire Over All-Male Board of Directors

Twitter CEO Takes Fire Over All-Male Board of DirectorsS

Twitter, a company of around 2,000 employees, doesn't have a single woman on its board, and very, very few female executives of any kind. After the New York Times ran a pointed article to this effect, the company's CEO Dick Costolo went on the (Twitter) defensive.

The portion of Claire Cain Miller's article is a quote from academic and author Vivek Wadhwa:

“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?”

This tweet from the man in charge surfaced quickly after the article made the rounds:

Not exactly a thoughtful or measured reply! If you want to look like you're taking something seriously, making a joke about a comedian isn't the straightest route. You might even say it was dismissive—plenty of concerned tweeters thought so:

Realizing, maybe, that a Carrot Top joke wasn't the best response to a very legitimate criticism of his about-to-go-public tech giant, Costolo started to give real replies:

Twitter will surely snap up a woman for its board as soon as possible, in order to deflect this kind of criticism. Which I guess, is better than nothing. But in the meantime, it doesn't help that the company's chief will only talk about problem with other dudes on Twitter.

Photo: Getty