Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Kara Swisher on Tech’s White Male Problem

Kara Swisher, as quoted by Karis Hustad at Harvard’s Tech Conference 22:

When you look up at a board room and you look around and you see 10 white men and you don’t understand you have a problem, I want to know what happens to you. How can’t you see it? It’s a huge problem, and from a business point of view it is ridiculous. If half the women are using the Internet and half of people of color are using it, that’s how it should be represented. My god, how can you make a product for half the human race and not have half the human race be represented?

The goal is not just about numbers, but about equal representation of ideas and equal consideration to issues raised. But it is impossible to get to a point where equal thought is given to the specific concerns of women or people of colour if boards and employees are overwhelmingly white and male. Diversity is not — and cannot — be a checkbox item, as Swisher points out:

They’re not trying. They’re not looking hard enough. [They say] “Oh, it’s hard.” I don’t care. I don’t give a fuck if it’s hard. You need to bring me 10 great candidates and you have to be thinking hard about different kinds of candidates, different ages, different races — and we’re not always going to be successful, but I think from the very top you have to say, you’re being lazy about this. You’re being easy. You’re pattern matching.