There has been many instances where people around (or even close to) me wave off the notorious ‘sexism in tech’ problem as ‘all in the woman’s head’. The worst thing is, these are intelligent people. They argue that talking about sexism won’t solve the problem, that we cannot avoid it from happening (and thus need to embrace it? I get confused when I hear this argument), that EDUCATION is the real problem (yes of course it is, education is the root of most problems in the world today). The thing is – there is no one single solution to an epidemic like sexism. We need to tackle it from multiple channels and at all levels. And more importantly, we cannot not talk about it. We cannot not speak up when we encounter it.
For women who have experienced this bias—and there are many—the simple act of talking about it is taboo. There’s a notion that acknowledging the problem only exacerbates it. No one wants to be known as the woman who cried sexism for fear of being labeled a tattletale, a liability, or, at the very least, not worth the trouble.
This is why gender balance and equality matters. Not only because it makes business sense (yes, backed by research), but also because I believe that most of the sexism happening today do not come from a place of malign, but ignorance. And by having a stronger voice and presence of female tech founders/investors, the tide might change. Bad habits, inappropraite behaviours and deep-rooted prejudices will be frowned upon and eventually flushed out.