Silicon Valley often gets ripped for being bro-centric and unfriendly to women. The latest criticism centers around the use social media. Specifically, the charge is that top male CEOs and founders show their inherent “sexism” by not following enough women on Twitter.
Guess what: Turns out their female counterparts in the Valley also follow mostly men on Twitter.
This week, Heat Street reported the latest controversy manufactured by the PC police, with Vice’s Motherboard slamming Elon Musk for following zero women on Twitter (he has since followed one woman).
— Sahil Lavingia (@shl) October 4, 2016
The Guardian doubled-down on the issue and claimed Musk isn’t the only man erasing women in tech.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt, venture capitalist Vinod Khosla—they’ve all been attacked for following very few women on Twitter.
— Julia Carrie Wong (@juliacarriew) October 4, 2016
But upon closer inspection it’s clear that the issue has nothing to do with alleged sexism. Using the online tool Proporti.onl, we examined the Twitter followings of the top women in tech, according to Forbes. Here’s what we found:
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki follows 296 accounts: 120 men, 37 women, the rest are brands and news organizations.
HP CEO Meg Whitman follows 298 accounts: 58 men, 19 women, the rest are brands and news organizations.
Apple Senior VP Angela Ahrendts follows 146 accounts: 64 men, 21 women, the rest are brands and news organizations.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer follows 343 accounts: 239 men, 65 women, the rest are brands and news organizations.
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg follows 17 accounts: 5 men, 10 women, 2 brand accounts—suggesting that Sandberg is erasing the voices of men in tech, if judged by the same standard.
Looks like just another cases of baseless politically correct outrage.