You’ve probably heard that Twitter’s been making headlines this week because of it’s all white, male board of directors. I don’t think I need to tell you how I feel about that. There is so much research out there that a diverse team at the top leads to a stronger bottom line. Plus Twitter users skew slightly more female than male. I struggle to understand why companies can’t grasp the concept that diverse leadership leads to a better product.
Here is a roundup of some of the best and worst commentary on the topic.
Vivek Wadhwa tells it like it is in The Wall Street Journal writing, ”The sad reality is that Silicon Valley is a boys club that stacks the deck against women and certain minorities.”
Countering the old there-are-no-qualified-women argument, Claire Cain Miller at The New York Times serves up 25 female candidates for Twitter to consider.
And Nilofer Merchant makes the connection between diversity, innovation and success at Time. She writes, “It is ironic that Twitter, which has made so many individuals smarter because of the diversity of the social network, isn’t set up to do the same for itself.”
The CEO of Twitter responded to Vivek Wadhwa’s criticism not by listening, not with openess, but with this: Kaylene Hong tries to make the argument that the issue isn’t gender it’s experience on TheNextWeb, but her argument is flawed. True, there are fewer women pursuing tech careers than there are men. But we’re not talking about hiring software engineers; we’re talking about Directors. Look at Apple. The company’s board is made up of (albeit too few women) a mix of tech and non-tech execs. J. Crew, Avon and Disney are all represented as is Al Gore, who did not invent the Internet. Broad and diverse industry knowledge is certainly a factor in Apple’s success. Now imagine what the company could achieve if CEO Cook fixed the gender imbalance.
Sarah Lacy at Pando Daily tries to take the cool girl approach and point out she just works hard and doesn’t whine about sexism. Calling out inequity isn’t whining. And guess what? You can still work hard while you’re pointing out what’s broken. Women are more than capable of that.