AirTalk

Lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, entertainment, the arts, and more. Hosted by Larry Mantle

'Bro-grammer' culture: Is there room for women in Silicon Valley?

by AirTalk

70743 full
Should leaders in the tech industry like Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer do more to encourage more women? Mario Tama/Getty Images

Yahoo!'s Marissa Mayer and Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg have proven that women can rise to the top of the tech world but they may not find many young women are following in their footsteps. Even though women have overtaken men at the nation's colleges and universities - the tech industry remains a heavily male dominated culture.

Fewer women are studying computer science and only a tiny fraction of the engineers - 2% to 4% in some cases - are women. Female engineers have fewer role models to encourage them into the tech industry and many face discrimination and harassment once they're there.

Two Australian programmers at a hackathon set up by TechCrunch caused a firestorm on Twitter after they presented an app called Titstare. "Titstare is an app where you take photos of yourself staring at tits," they said. It's an example of the "bro" culture that exists at many tech firms where women are few and far between. Reporter Jessica Guynn wrote about the topic this week in the LA Times.

Should leaders in the tech industry do more to encourage more women? What is it like being a woman in the tech industry? What other industries have improved their gender disparity?  

Guests:

Katharine Jarmul, Director of Technology @ HYFN and cofounder of Los Angeles PyLadies, a group which helps more women become coders in the Python programming language

Jennifer Hunt, Chief Economist for the US Department of Labor

Valerie Aurora, software engineer and founder of the Ada Initiative, which supports women in tech

blog comments powered by Disqus

Enjoy AirTalk? Try KPCC’s other programs.

What's popular now on KPCC