Susan Fowler Proved That One Person Can Make a Difference

Kara Swisher wrote a tribute for Recode to Susan Fowler and the effects four months after her now-infamous blog post:

Yes, that was it: Susan Fowler showed us the donkeys that were worshiped as kings by the VCs and investors and boards and, yes, the media, too.

But post-Fowler, you could not ignore it, because she pulled off what poet Louise Gluck wrote about in her poem, “Circe’s Power”: “I never turned anyone into a pig. Some people are pigs; I make them look like pigs.”

Which is to say that Fowler did everyone in tech a public service by doing nothing more than making pigs look like pigs.

I doubt anyone in tech will make as much of a difference as Fowler did this year — or, indeed, in the next few years as the effects of her post continue to be felt. Her decision to publish was courageous. But it’s also a reminder that it’s necessary to take concerns like hers seriously every single time, regardless of perceived tone or incredulity. Believe the women and people of colour — and others, of course, but those groups more frequently than not — when they explain the ways that they are isolated, bullied, and unfairly treated at any company.