Ladies in tech, have you considered not letting us know you're female?
Old rich white man comes up with perfect solution to tech sexism
Have you simply tried just being nice?
John is, of course, an enlightened man. But, he warns, don't expect everyone to be as great as he is: "It's a shame that tech investors and hiring managers can't approach the work-product of women in a similar, non-judgmental fashion."
The problem is that women, especially foreign-sounding ones, are not very likeable. And by likeable, John means white men. "A man will not feel such inherent 'liking' from a female name," he notes, "unless the female entrepreneur happens to use a unisex name."
Sure, it's not fair, John notes, but if women really want to make progress, they'd do better just to accept that they will be viewed as inherently inferior and work the system. To move forward in a man's world, you need to come across plausibly as if you were a man.
John has some great pointers: "I would suggest that if you are a woman raising capital, you might consider not including photos of your team in your pitch deck. If you identify your team via their initials (men and women), you effectively strip out all preconceptions related to race, ethnicity and gender. In your LinkedIn profile, Twitter account, email address and online correspondence use your initials (or a unisex name) and eliminate photos."
Brilliant! If women simply strip out all aspects of their personality, culture, background and physical appearance – anything that could clue people into the fact that they may not be white men – they might be rewarded with a level playing field. KV Switzer, for example.
"Much like a book, people cannot avoid judging their fellow humans by their 'cover'," John wisely notes. "As such, women in tech should consider what they can do to broaden the audience willing to engage with them while mitigating potentially negative misconceptions. A neutral online persona will encourage more people to evaluate your work products and experiences based on their inherent qualities, unclouded by preconceptions."
So there you go girls, an insightful and fascinating guide to how to get white men to give you a fair shot.
Of course, that's not the end of it. Tune in next week when John will tell you how to disguise your appearance so you can even look and sound like a man. You'll need some new clothes, small towels and some vocal practice, but it'll be worth it. Just ask James Barry, Billy Tipton or Murray Hall. ®
Unfortunately, it seems John will not be enlightening women any further. Just as we were hitting the publish button on this piece, he posted the following update on Twitter:
"I apologize for the dreadful article I wrote in the WSJ. I told women to endure the gender bias problem rather than acting to fix the problem. I hurt women and I utterly failed to help, which I wholly regret and I apologize for having done.
"Women have a tough enough time having their voices heard and my insensitive comments only made matters worse. I am truly sorry."