Silicon Valley’s Diversity Myth

Silicon Valley’s Diversity Myth

I rarely think the world has gone mad but, once in a while, I am certain of it. For sanity’s sake, I have no choice but to risk being burned on a third rail issue and tell you that broad accusations of institutional bias and sexism in Silicon Valley are way, way overblown. There, I said it.

Don’t get me wrong. Gender discrimination and sexual harassment do still exist, but not in the way being portrayed by diversity activists and the click-hungry media.

In a Bloomberg interview last week, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Mike Moritz responded to a question about the lack of women partners at his firm, Sequoia Capital, by saying their job is to hire the very best team, regardless of race and gender, and they will not lower their standards.

That set off a media firestorm of criticism. Vanity Fair wrote “Silicon Valley V.C. Firm Can’t Find Any Women: The problem is you, not him.” Re/code said Moritz “delivered an astoundingly out-of-touch and dismissive answer to questions about hiring women.” And CNET wrote “Silicon Valley VCs still clueless when it comes to women.”

To top it all off, an article in Medium entitled “It’s Not Foot in Mouth Disease” suggests that Moritz did not misspeak, but rather revealed a “deeply hidden synaptic pathway” equating “women” to “lower standards.”


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