‘No good excuses’ | Apple chief exec's gender comments reinforce stereotypes in tech

Apple chief exec's gender comments reinforce stereotypes in tech

Like many business areas, technology is a sector that is embedded with institutional sexism. Although women in the technology industry are empowering and inspiring other women to voice their presence and gain recognition, there are in fact many obstacles and glass ceilings that have to be shattered to overcome the many discriminations that women face in the technology domain.

Tim Cook, the Chief Executive of Apple, stated: “There are still not enough women at the table at the world’s tech firms”. He also added: “There are no good excuses for the lack of women in the sector.”

The comments that are presented by Cook have not only gathered a large backlash with regards to generating gender bias but also, lacking judgement in terms of how the very existence of the gender bias glass ceiling stems from.

In addition, there were remarks and concerns brought into the light on personal levels from women who actually faced gender stereotypes in the tech industry and the difficulties they face on a daily basis within the sector itself.

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For example, Alejandra Muñoz Villalobos, Senior Developer Engineer and Business Analyst at Endava, puts forth: “As a woman in tech, I can share that not only did I have to prove my tech skills multiple times but also, I had to learn how to manage gender stereotyping inside the work environment.” She continued: “We need more people that motivate and inspire girls every day.”

While Tim Cook’s statements have substance with regard to the fact that there is a substantial need for women in the tech sector, it lacks the reality portion of the manners and factors that women face while they seek to pursue a career in tech.

Women are faced with barriers and bias throughout the tech industry and this is further triggered by the rooted institutional sexism within the patriarchal workforce. Not only does pushing forward statements like these add to the structural sexism but it also shifts the attention away from the roots of where the problem arises in the first place.

34.8% of Apple’s employees are women. Tim Cook adds: “Technology will not achieve nearly what it could achieve without a more diverse workforce.”

Cook later states: "Technology's a great thing that will accomplish many things, but unless you have diverse views at the table that are working on it, you don't wind up with great solutions."

So, why is Apple only now voicing concerns?

The answer is straightforward: Apple is promoting its new launch.

Apple has just launched its founders’ development programme for female founders and app creators in the UK. With this in mind, Apple is now trying to raise awareness around equalising the tech industry field where gender discrimination still prevails.

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Benjamin Pawson, Partner at SHK Asia Pacific put forth his views in terms of the Apple news: “If we want a different kind of world, we need to break old structures, hierarchies and ways of working as we redefine what success looks like.”

Adding on to the comment made by Pawson, it’s necessary not to ‘just’ make remarks, but actually push for what is in favour of equality for all and not undermine anyone based on their gender or sex.

Not only should the tech industry empower women, but overall establish an environment where individuals can thrive and break grounds together.

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