Lean Out: Women in Technology

Wednesday 15 July, 2015
7pm, $0

Babycastles
137 West 14 Street

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Lean Out editor Elissa Shevinsky moderates a panel on women in tech with Gesche Haas, Sunny Allen, and Katherine Cross.

Why aren’t the great, qualified women already in tech being hired or promoted?

Should people who don’t fit in seek to join an institution that is actively hostile to them?

Does the tech industry deserve women leaders?

The split between the stated ideals of the corporate elite and the reality of working life for women in the tech industry—whether in large public tech companies or VC-backed start-ups, in anonymous gaming forums, or in Silicon Valley or Alley—seems designed to crush women’s spirits. Corporate manifestos by women who already fit in (or who are able to convincingly fake it) aren’t helping. There is a high cost for the generation of young women and transgender people currently navigating the harsh realities of the tech industry, who gave themselves to their careers only to be ignored, harassed and disrespected.

Not everyone can be a CEO; not everyone is able to embrace a workplace culture that diminishes the contributions of women and ignores real complaints. The very culture of high tech, where foosball tables and endless supplies of beer are de facto perks, but maternity leave and breast-feeding stations are controversial, is designed to appeal to young men. Lean Out collects 25 stories from the modern tech industry, from people who fought GamerGate and from women and transgender artists who have made their own games, from women who have started their own companies and who have worked for some of the most successful corporations in America, from LGBTQ women, from women of color, from transgender people and people who do not ascribe to a gender. All are fed up with the glacial pace of cultural change in America’s tech industry.

About the panelists:

Elissa Shevinsky is a writer, hacker and CEO of JeKuDo Privacy Company. She has been profiled in the New York Times for her efforts to fight misogyny in tech.

Gesche Haas is founder of Dreamers // Doers, the first online Club House for entrepreneurial women.

Sunny Allen is a biohacker and inventor of the world's first artificially intelligent vibrator, Hum.

Katherine Cross is a sociologist and PhD student at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City, specializing in research on online harassment and gender in online virtual worlds.

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