It’s extremely quandary for parents to navigate the terrain of “equality” in their children.
Even though traditional gender roles are still quite evident in society – roles are changing and becoming less distinct. Moreover, it’s not always easy to work against a cultural tradition.
“Mom, is it true that there are biological reasons why there are fewer women in tech and leadership?”
It is steadying to hear that Susan Wojcicki’s daughter, out of all the people, articulated a similar question. However, her mother’s response is what all parents must garner in their children.
Published by Fortune, Wojcicki wrote in an influential essay:
“As my child asked me the question I’d long sought to overcome in my own life, I thought about how tragic it was that this unfounded bias was now being exposed to a new generation,”
A leaked private memo, drafted by an engineer at Google, prompted the question.
The offensive and jaw dropping analytical memo of former – senior software engineer at Google, James Damore falsely justified the lack of female representatives in tech fields.
The intention of the video was to smother bias among his colleagues.
Damore attributed social factors such as implicit bias and sexism as the reasons behind the gender gap in technology. The memo which eventually leaked to the press harvested frustration and anger amongst Google employees. The memo not only failed to justify gender gap but also gave an inaccurate explanation of the biological differences between men and women.
As a response to the appalling memo, Wojcicki wrote in her essay:
“I’ve had my abilities and commitment to my job questioned. I’ve been left out of key industry events and social gatherings. I’ve had meetings with external leaders where they primarily addressed the more junior male colleagues. I’ve had my comments frequently interrupted and my ideas ignored until they were rephrased by men. No matter how often this all happened, it still hurt.“
Moreover, the Youtube CEO gave her daughter an answer that shaped a decent view on gender for her daughter.
Do differences in biology explain the tech gender gap?”
“No, It’s not true.” Wojcicki told her daughter.