A woman uses a smartphone in New York City, in this picture taken November 6, 2013.
Mike Segar/Reuters

Fox Business host ponders ‘the female brain’

When Twitter readied its IPO, we learned what many had long assumed: the company’s executives are mostly men. It led Fox Business host Stuart Varney today to ponder the implications of gender diversity and the tech industry.
“Should tech companies feel obligated to put women on the board or to make women top executives just to be politically correct?” Varney asked the Tea Party News Network’s Scottie Hughes on Monday.
“No business should ever be obligated to bring on a woman,” Hughes insisted. “They should want to, but you’re not seeing this in Silicon Valley for some reason.”
“But why is that?” Varney wondered. “It’s a very difficult question to ask because it’s politically incorrect. Is there something about the female brain that is a deterrent for getting on board with tech? Is there?”
Yep, that’s what he said. Media Matters posted the video.
When considering the question of gender diversity and the tech industry, there’s no shortage of possible explanations – from sexism to institutional biases to social expectations and gender norms that go back generations – and the root cause is ultimately going to be the result of more than one factor. The industry would be wise to invest time and energy into understanding why and taking constructive steps to improve the status quo.
That said, those who want to know if there’s “something about the female brain that is a deterrent for getting on board with tech” probably aren’t contributing anything helpful to the conversation.