I thought I understood sexism in the Valley. I don’t.
Pao lost her suit, which concluded just two years ago. But her loss could in fact become a larger victory for women overall. In the following two years, scores of women have found the courage to come forward, and the “bro” culture of Silicon Valley, a culture very much on display in Pao’s book, is now ostracized and, I hope, well in decline.
Further, Pao has turned what for anyone would be a scarring experience into a positive platform for change called Project Include. Check it out. I certainly will be.
The FT is on a roll
The FT has a pretty damn airtight paywall, but ever since my colleague Rana Foroohar became a columnist there, I’ve been meaning to subscribe. Two pieces, one by Foroohar, the other from OpEd contributor Diane Coyle, may finally get me to open my wallet.
Foroohar’s column, titled “Business can fill the Trump leadership vacuum,” quotes any number of influential CEOs on the theme of “business must lead.” You may recall, that’s the theme of NewCo’s next Shift Forum, so I’m a bit biased. In Foroohar’s words: “In an era in which the richest 2,000 companies have more money (and arguably power) than two-thirds of countries, it is crucial that their actions balance the dearth of moral and economic leadership coming out of this White House.”
Coyle’s OpEd “Digital platforms force a rethink in competition theory” questions whether economists are doing enough to provide fodder for regulators struggling to get their arms around the new tech oligarchy. “Economists are letting down competition regulators in failing to provide the tools for evaluating in specific cases the claim that — in a world of significant returns to scale and network effects — bigger is better for everyone.” Turns out we honestly have no idea whether it’s a good thing that so much power is concentrated in Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, et al. And that’s a bit scary.
Oh, and if you’re wondering how I could read those pieces without being a subscriber, well, if you can find the headline, and put it into Google, and then click the first link, the FT will reward you with one free impression of the article. It’s how most paywall-driven news sites cultivate top of the funnel conversion opportunities. Consider me converted!
Immelt On Deck at Uber?
The ever resourceful Kara Swisher owned the biggest scoop of the weekend, reporting that former GE CEO Jeff Immelt has become the front runner to replace Travis Kalanick at Uber. This is quite possibly the most fraught — and most public — CEO search in the history of the Valley. Given that Uber’s troubles really began with Susan Fowler’s vivid portrayal of the company’s fundamentally sexist culture, it would behoove Uber’s conflict-ridden board to think long and hard about what message it would be sending by hiring Immelt. At the very least, the board itself needs more female voices. And certainly, so does the management team.
Read the previous daily: