Vivek Wadhwa on the Gender Gap in Silicon Valley

I’ve been researching entrepreneurship, I’ve
been researching immigrant entrepreneurship in particular, and what I learned was that
Silicon Valley was amazingly diverse. That 52 percent of start-ups were founded by people
like me; people who were born abroad. And I thought it was a perfect meritocracy. And
we moved to Silicon Valley about four, four and a half years ago. And I do a lot of writing.
I wrote a blog for TechCrunch. And my wife and I happened to go to a TechCrunch event
called the Crunchies and it was a great event, the Oscars of the tech industry. And in the
middle of it, my wife says Vivek, do you notice something strange? I said yeah, we’re sitting
next to Mark Zuckerberg. Isn’t that cool. She said no, look around. What don’t you see
here? I mean she was getting frustrated with me. And I didn’t notice anything strange.
And then she said where are the women? And there was like a light went off in my head
saying what is going on here? It’s a surreal experience, Twilight Zone sort of that you
notice something is completely missing. So I started noticing what was happening on stage.
About 100/150 people on stage, not a single woman other than a couple of staff. I started looking around at the composition
of Silicon Valley companies, hardly any women. I started looking at the boards of companies,
started looking at the websites, no women. And it was a surreal experience. I mean what
is going on here? Why aren’t there women in Silicon Valley? How can you have the most
innovative land on this planet not have women? How can you be leaving out the most productive
part of our population? So that’s really what triggered this whole reaction often and why
I become so vocal about the lack of women in innovation. I happened to write a blog entitled Silicon
Valley You and Your Venture Capitalist Have a Gender Problem. I basically detailed my
observations about there not being women, and then I detailed some of the academic research
I had done. I was stunned at the negative reaction to it. I was stunned at the volley
of criticism on social media, the angry comments posted online. I was stunned at the emails
I was getting, even from my friends. You’ve got to realize that I know who’s who of Silicon
Valley and some of these are the moguls over there. They advised me to stay off this topic.
They advised me that look Vivek you’re new to Silicon Valley. If you want to make it
here this is not the way. If you’re trying to get laid we can help you. Those are the
type of comments I was getting back. And I was actually shocked. I mean I was insensitive
to the issue of gender. I’ve never been at one extreme or the other, but this sort of
opened my eyes to the harsh reality. And what my wife Tavinder said was Vivek, look at what
you’re going through. Imagine what women go through every day of their lives. And that
is really what put me on this crusade to try to fix this gender gap and to be vocal about
it. It starts off with these sexist attitudes
that men have. It starts out with their sense of superiority. And then it’s also the upbringing
the women have that from childhood they’re giving Barbie dolls, the guys are given masculine
toys. And then women are discouraged from studying computing and science and engineering
because those are guy’s things. And some of them do have enlightened parents who encourage
them to achieve their potential and to change the world. And they go to school and they’re
treated different because they happen to be interested in science and engineering and
mathematics they’re called – women are considered geeks and nerds or worse they’re looked down
at. And they get into college and they’re one of the very few women in it. They struggle,
they defy the odds, they get into the workplace and guess what? It’s all male. And they’re
one of the few women in their workplace and they’re treated differently. Even though they
may be as competent, they may have better skills than the men do, they don’t get the
same promotions. They get looked down at. And it’s even worse than that. I tell you,
the type of stories I’ve heard really disturb me. Women being raped, groped, I mean just
I don’t want to repeat it, it’s just sort of horrible the stories I’ve heard from women,
heart wrenching stories of how women have been treated by men. This is just outrageous.
It is not acceptable. I mean this is a civilized society we live in. How dare we treat the
better half of our population like this. First of all if you look at the graduation
rates, there are 140 women for every 100 men now coming out of higher education. Women
are equally proficient in mathematics, sciences. Every field of education you look at, women
are equal to or better than men. Then when it comes to the technology sector in particular,
if you look at the way the venture-capital system works, it’s based on a failure rate
of 80 or 90 percent. That’s because they invest in all these brain dead companies and the
founders spend money like there’s no tomorrow and they lose all this money. And venture
capital, as an asset class, is in decline because of that. So in other words we’re wasting
tens of billions of dollars on funding brain-dead companies. What’s the difference with women?
Women tend to be more sensible. They also tend to have more empathy. I’m not trying
to say that women are better or worse than men over here, but women have a maternal instinct.
They have more of a desire to care for others than do men. So when it comes to things like
design, it’s all about empathy. If you can feel what your users need you can design better.
So therefore women should make better designers. Women are also more sensible. It’s again getting
into the maternal instinct that they know how to manage budgets better. They’re more
responsible because of the roles that they’ve had. So if they become CEOs they produce better
financial results. And these are backed up by research. When they join boards, when you
have enough – when you have critical mass of women they guide the companies better,
the companies produce better performance. So you have more innovation, you have better
financial management, you have greater success rates by having more women. Why leave them
out? They’re half of our population. All of the research that’s been done says
that companies founded by women have higher success rates; they spend less money, they
produce better results. It’s really that simple that financial management is better and they
tend to do more sensible things than these brain-dead companies built by my brat friends
in Silicon Valley.

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100 thoughts on “Vivek Wadhwa on the Gender Gap in Silicon Valley

  1. Studies have now confirmed we have to put more women in death row to stabilizing the economy. It strangely makes the poverty levels come down thus stabilizing the socio-economic balance. Further studies confirmed huge rise of production rates and technological advancements. 

    I saw this sexism in prison when I visited a one last year. I haven't seen any female death row inmates. It is all men. We have to start with the judges who deliver lighter sentencing to female convicts. In one particular case "Marybeth Tinning" killed 9 children of her own but still couldn't manage to get into death row. We have to unite everyone to end this sexist procedures at once.

  2. This type of mentality is completely wrong! Given more opportunities to people based on their gender is exactly what we don't want. I don't care if you are a man or a woman I do care if you are good at what you have to do, and that is it!

    Successful people are successful because they don't complain they fight back! "Poor me I am a minority" No!, poor you because you are not working hard, you are just feeling sorry for yourself!

    This isn't the middle ages where you were born a peasant or a noble man. Most of the people in Silicon Valley are self-made to success, born with little and working in something they like. That is no reason to start diminishing them just because there are not enough women among them.

    "Let's make a woman CEO because she is a woman and that looks better to the public instead of hiring someone that would be better because he is a man!" What does this change? Is the exactly same type of mentality! Wrong! "Let's hire this PERSON to be our CEO because this PERSON has the best skill for the position!" That is who we need to think!

    Most successful people in Silicon Valley are white men, so what? In the fashion world most successful people are white women. Do we see men complaining about it? Is just not something that most men are interested in. Computer science may not be the most interesting things for female gender people, that doesn't mean that there are not women interested in it, it just mean that most of the people interested are men. Should we punished them for their interests? Of course not.

    It is like video games, sometimes we hear that there are not enough games design for women. Well one hundred years ago there was no video games at all. So guys start making games of somethings that were interesting to them. So they were guys and make thing for guys. We can't punish them for that! Girls do what girls like. People do what people like! (And yes there are a lot of people play video games, that are women, and a lot of people working in video games are also women.) 

    A women can do anything a man can, of course that everywhere is going to be idiotic people that disrespects other people, either because of gender, color, sexual preference, etc. And they should be punished for doing it! But we can't start pushing everybody that seems or looks like this idiotic people, because them we are being like them.

    We should stop talking about gender equality. There is no such thing! Men are different from Women, the same way that men are different among themselves and women are different from themselves too. We should start thinking more of gender indifference! "I am hiring you, not because you are a man, nor a woman, but because you are good at this!" This is how we should think! No one goes to an interview and answers the question "Why should I hire you?" with "Because I am a man/woman".

    So let's not creating more opportunity for people because of their gender, let's create more opportunity for people with the wright skills!

  3. Could only watch 3mins of this imbecile mangina he doesn't merit a janitor's job never mind a professional role if he believes this pap he spouts. In my H-grade Physics class of 1980-81 here in the UK there was ONE girl who chose the class out of approx 28 of us. We chose our subjects we were NOT influenced what to take, same with Mathematics the boys excelled in that topic for good reason….men and women are different, they are both wonderful but have different talents and skills. Fools like Videk are gullible enough to believe marxist (feminist) lies and warped ideologies. It's hilarious but worrying that he has even achieved any status of any note in society.

  4. I'm not going to say women would rather spend their time (enter stereotype) but women are not interested in tech for the most part. There is nothing stopping them, they just dont want to go. I want to know how many Mexicans and African Americans are in tech, is there a support group for them if underrepresented?

    Women just want a piece of the pie now that tech is big. Just like the video game industry(a billion dollar industry) women have an attraction to the money. I dont blame or condemn them for that. However, I'm tired of women being the victim in everything.

    If we were to listen to some feminist, they would say that helping them is sexist and we are just doing it to get in their pants because all p***y the same, right?

    Dont discriminate, dont make it awkward for women to work, but stop with this BS.

  5. If companies are shown to not hire a women with the similar qualifications as a man then there is a problem,if not than there is no problem at all.I would would personally guess it would work the other way around.

  6. I dispute the claim that evidence proves that women are better managers than men. The odds are so stacked that the women who actually get a chance to prove themselves are the best. You cannot have it both ways: if the system discriminates against women (as seems almost certain), you cannot hold up the few exceptional women who beat the odds as proof of the superiority of their entire sex. I generally agree with the video apart from that niggle.

  7. How about muscle and facial hair development on men. Males are really different than females in some ways. The huge portion of the animal kingdom even supports that notion. Roosters and peacocks tend to be more colorful than hens and peahens. It's natures way. Perhaps Silicon Valley's venture capitalism industry is just one those things really designed by nature to be intended to be well dominated by males but with compliments from females. Well, this is very interesting.

  8. Didn't matter how well I did in math, I was discouraged from going into tech field, passed over for internships and programs, and thought to be the secretary when assigned to teams.
    I went into a male dominated repair field, where i spent a decade answering the question, "Where's the repairman?" with "That's me."
    It's discouraging to read the male excuses in these comments. We need to change our culture.

  9. How can we take seriously an idiot who says "Women getting raped…" out of nowhere and without context? He's just trying to get sentimentalism. He actually said "the better half of our population". How's that supposed to promote equality? I totally get his friends telling him things like "If you wanna geit laid we can help you", because his discourse is so idiotic it really does look like that.

  10. I see many people complain about women not being in primarily male dominated jobs but 0 talk about men being in primarily female dominated jobs. Why is this?

    Also I really hate his tone in this video. He talks about women being the better half as if being sexist against males doesn't count as sexism.

  11. Geek & nerd are no longer derogatory. I love geeky girls. Don't worry old guy; Our generation is very different from yours. You really need to chill, man.

  12. Geek & nerd are no longer derogatory. I love geeky girls. Don't worry old guy; Our generation is very different from yours. You really need to chill, man.

  13. I pretty much agree with almost all he said, I'd lose the "women are so much better then men" rethoric though.
    If its all about equality, dont show your bias in your rethoric. It just gives unpleasent individuals a n unneccessary angle of attack. Equality means everyone is of equal worth, that includes sexist males and females.
    You might not like that but they are not worth less as a human beeing for being ignorant and prejudiced.
    I'm not condoning sexism here, its terrible to what extremes it can lead to. But just becasue someone is sexist doesnt make him/her less of a person objectivly(your opinion of them doesnt matter!).
    Equality means everyone has the same rights and freedoms aslong as he respects others rights and freedoms. That also means your rights and freedoms end where others begins.
    In my opinion sexism is a thing we wont get rid of quickly(there need to be HUGE changes in our perception of gender and sex [also race when we are at it] as a society for that to happen).
    But gladly there are some very easy identifiable matters we can get rid-off pretty quickly: equal pay for instance. Its a shame that we as a society, as civilized as we think we are, still pay women less for equal work. 
    These very objective injustices are hard to argue against and should easiy to fix, buy force of law if it has to. Make it a finable offense(with the fine beeing manyfold on what they owed in pay) and they will comply.

    But for that we would need working governments and huge companies would have to follow any laws which apparently they dont have to.
    Yay for rampant capitalism(aka uncontrolled greed that si gonna kill us all in the end).

  14. Extreme Feminists are over reactive prudes whose usefulness in sexual egalitarianism has long since gone. Extreme MRA's are pathetic losers trying to blame their social dis-functionalities on woman. Can't you all just shut the fuck up and work for BOTH sexes to be completely equal? You do know if you pull the rope more to your side there's going to be twice as much force pulling it back after. So stop it. And all those morons who down thumbed this vid just because its speaks in support of woman, go fuck yourselves. From the bottom of my cold dark heart.

  15. Ever think that maybe women just aren't as interested in being in technological fields? Oh god there's no women here, must be sexism. Or maybe men tend to be more qualified for said jobs? It's like you look at our USA basketball team, just about every one of them is black. Why are there no white or asians on the team? T-thats racism! See where I'm going here

  16. "I'm not saying women are better than men, I'm just saying that women are better than men in every aspect of running a business."

  17. How ignorant. This is a ridiculous, specious argument. You don't find a majority of women in prison either. Further, your statistics are absolutely incorrect! If you want to make a point, don't do it based on ignorance.

  18. "Leaving out the most productive part of our population"
    Well, that just about sums up the demented, oblivious, contradictory perspective this video has to offer. What a fucking joke. Im glad this trash is getting the response it has so far. This level of anti-intellectual feminist theory inspired bullshitery should be ridiculed for the mockery of rationality it so demonstrably is.

    Just get the fuck out already. You're stupidity is toxic.

  19. The last we let a woman conduct science experiments she went and got herself killed cough Mary Curie cough cough
    jkjk. but I wish there were more women in sciences, considering most go into art/nursing/psychology (skill based and empathetic subjects rather than hardcore mathematics and logic). But all the women I see in my engineering school are either studying computers or just in it for the money (which is NEVER a reason to choose engineering).  

  20. You pretty much lost me at "most productive part of our population" and "better half of our population", I barely got to the point of considering your statements about the gender employment gap within said industry. Its hard to even take you seriously when you spew the same unfounded nonsense that radical feminists have been trying to propagate for years now. We spent years arguing that humans are equal regardless of gender and now we have this, all aboard the train of reversing social progress!

    I like the diversity and freedom of Big Think so I approve that anything including this can be posted/said and I am also thankful that it can also be criticized with the same amount of freedom.

  21. Hey Mr. Wadhwa, maybe the majority of women aren't interested in the tech field and you should just deal with it.  No I will not buy your book.

  22. Go to a tech conference and it's mostly men. Go to a mall and it's mostly women. Women spend most of the money, men work most of the hours. You want to swap?

  23. THIS GUY SHOULD BE SHUNNED. i could barely make it through the video. only he can be Mr. Sensitive. every other guy out there is a jerk/asshole/rapist.

    1. women have the world at their feet: just as any teenager can create an app, a product, an idea and get funding, so can any woman. how so? because 50% of the population are women. and any woman can certainly find some woman…if not some group of women to "syndicate" a seed round for investment into an idea. and that is just the "woman-as-investor" component that may bias toward other women.

    2. the internet as one venue is vast for women and there are immense, innumerable ideas that women can identify that would be a passion for themselves; likewise, if they identify the market and they reflect passion and competence, any investor with a brain will back the venture; many investors are already of the mind: throw whatever at the wall and see what sticks. there are vast numbers of investors that only care about great ideas that can be executed upon. are there loser investors? only an idiot-moron would think that humanity has somehow managed to avoid assholes in some particular social group. guess what: a guy walks into meet an investor — and the investor is a major asshole, sociopath to that guy as well!

    3. this guy is just pathetic: all these "anecdotes" on what the state of tech is regarding "groups", without any real scholarship or data. what about other groups: as above, the aforementioned "youth;" what about those of particular social classes that know no one and might need an investor; what about those that lack higher education and whatever (positive outcomes) may come from that attainment, thus lacking credentials and confidence to approach investors? it is all the same; let's see what you got!

    THIS GUY SHOULD BE SHUNNED. he will just waste everyone's time. society needs to move forward — and not backward. if YOU (young, old, male, female, left, right, upside-down, blue, green….person) has an idea…then step-up and let us see what you got!

    this is 2014…not 1914.

  24. This man is using anecdotal evidence from random comments and stereotyping as a legitimate argument.
    The video has to be truly disheartening to actual humanists.
    Equal opportunities doesn't mean equal outcomes, get it through your thick skulls.

  25. Women aren't there because they chose not to put in the hard work of creating tech and enterprise. It isn't surprising at all. Those things are hard and women have easier and more lucrative alternatives.

    An Indian should know about elephants and the elephant in the room which this 'big thinker' isn't seeing, is that the fault is with women.

    Women are risk averse. They are far less likely than men to take a chance with their livelihoods and careers and work their butts off to start a business from scratch, with all the risks and sacrifices that entails.

    It's bloody ironic that Wadhwa's wife chose not to do this, but instead decided to become a parasite, leeching off him instead.

    She then has the gall to bemoan the lack of women in Silicon Valley. What a hypocrite she is and what a pussy-whipped sycophant he is for pandering to her nonsense.

  27. Well, Mr Vivek, in a free society you should expect that since people are different, they will be making different choices and, thus, you will have a different outcome. The reason there are not "enough" women in certain fields is the same as the reason there are not "enough" men in other fields: It' choice, not sexism. If you give people equality of opportunity, then you should expect inequality of outcome. If you want to have equality of outcome (i.e. 50-50 men women in all fields) then you will have to remove their opportunity to choose on their own. Not communist enough for you? Why aren't there more women working as garbage dispposal units? Because they choose not to.  Same reason why there are not enough men working as pedicurists. You sit there talking about angry comments. But you misrepresent people's opinions, like mine, who are well thought out and only choose to concentrate on the trolls in order to "prove" misogyny online. Listen here, most people have some valid criticisms about what you are saying here. Stop ignoring them. If you want more women doing the jobs that YOU want them to do (what a misogynist you are by the way), then you should remove their ability to choose their own jobs and force them into the fields you want them to be, or make certain programs (affirmative action) in order to give them the upper hand against men who might be worse or better than some of the women. But that wouldn't be a fair society now, would it? And it wouldn't allow the best employees to compete for a certain job now, would it Also, why does the gender of the employee matter so much to you? An employee has a certain job and the employer does not care about the employees genitalia. The employer only cares about getting the job done. If a female worker is good enough, then she should be hired for the good of the company. If a woman is not hired due to her sex, then guess what: There are laws and legislations and they can complain about it and take the employer to the court. I am not a troll and this is a serious comment. Don't misrepresent us

  28. So I was walking around in a military grave yard and I said to my wife, "Don't you notice anything strange here?"

    So I walked back stage to the strippers' green room, I poked my head through the door and I said, "Do you ladies notice anything strange in here?"

    So I was checking out this monument erected to honour dead minors in a prominent Canadian Coal Town. I said to my daughter, "Read out all of those names honey and tell me if you notice anything strange."

    I was reading statistics about homelessness and suicides and I noticed something strange.

    I was reading statistics about domestic violence and sexual assault… and… strangely… I found nothing strange at all… strange!?!

    Fuck you Videk.

  29. Why didn't your wife apply then if she had such a big fucking problem with it? Oh, she didn't want to? Then both of you STFU.

  30. I look forward to Vivek's next Big Think video on why there aren't enough women in deep-sea fishing, strip-mining, the municipal garbage service, and janitorial work.

  31. It's interesting. I was on a field service job a few weeks back, to do a little engine work on a garbage truck and I noticed that almost every one of the garbage collectors and every single garbage truck mechanic was male. This is a dirty nasty job and women really need to step up and go into fields like this. Why is it that women only complain when a field is mostly male when it's an awesome job. Why don't they complain about women not being represented in these dirty dangerous jobs where you have to work out in the weather or in the greasy toxic disease ridden muck like where the garbage truck mechanics have to work. Women need to step up and do their fair share.
    I also noticed that there are almost no male teachers these days. It's because men are singled out and are placed in great danger of having their careers destroyed when some angry girl decides to file a false accusation. *The school system really is a hostile and dangerous work environment for men. In high tech women aren't represented because they don't give a rip about geeky high tech careers but in education men no longer go into those fields because they are singled out by feminist oppression. The only oppression that exists in our society is focused directly against men. Women have all the hiring bonuses, all the extra slots in higher education (even though they are now getting 60% of degrees), they get shorter sentences when they commit a crime, they are convicted less often, they have a vastly lower suicide rate and they live longer. Women are privileged aristocrats in our society while men are systematically oppressed.

  32. Just because you open a door for someone that doesn't mean that they want to cross it. There's nothing sexist about telling the truth; there are jobs that women dont want to do. That's not men's fault or society but women themselves.

  33. What? There were NO women there? Terrible! Let's take away women's agency and force them into jobs they don't want to do. Good idea Vivek… Idiot.

  34. Why didn't women choose to work in these companies? Hell, why didn't your wife? Is she a misogynist?

    Also, why don't you step down from your position and let a woman have your job? fool

  35. haha, first he explains how most innovative sector is mostly male,
    then calls women better half of population.
    Then somehow companies of females are better then male populated ones although his most praised and most accomplished sector is mostly male.
    And then he pretty much calls male population brain dead.
    I see few logic flaws in his hypothesis…
    Atleast he admits the superiority not just equality of females..

  36. Uh, it's not a guaranteed thing, but most women in my life or that I've met over the years have horrible spending problems.  And that's a sweeping generalization, but just speaking from personal experience.

  37. He's not saying women are any better or worse than men, they're just more sensible, equal to or better than men in every academic field, better at keeping budgets, better at running companies, "the most productive part of our population", and the better half of our population. I get it now.

  38. it's funny how manginas are worst than the "actual misogynists".
    the manginas try so hard to say women need help and it's a man's job to help them. i mean the last time i checked you help kids with their problems and adults solve their own problems and make their way like really somebody fact check this nigga please. there are no links in the fucking description that can back up his "research." so i'm going to dismiss this whole video without any research.

  39. It isn't the industry's fault. They want women, but women don't want them. To be working in silicon valley you have had to teach yourself how to code and think extremely logically. It isn't taught in primary school, your high school "computer science" courses don't count and most schools don't have them. Even in college the women aren't getting into computer science. At my university, majority women by about 2%, only about 1 in 20 people in computer science is female. Only about half of them are actually competent on what they are doing and the other half are skirting by. In Sophomore/Junior level comp sci courses of 40-50 students there are only about 5 women in the room. I don't thinking downing the women in the field is okay, it does happen and I have seen it mostly from men who are 30+, but I can see it coming from the fact that not everyone in this field is competent and female computer scientists are so rare that some people are afraid they got hired for boobs and not code. There are some fantastic sysadmins and programmers that are female. However they are so few and far between because they were never taught it growing up and so never took interest. The really good females doing this stuff had the same start as their male prodigy counterparts, they started young. Like 8 years old young. They grow up with a passion and put many men to shame. Unfortunately they have to prove themselves more than the men. There are plenty of men who are trying to get into these jobs and fields but they don't have the skill, and the rest of the industry knows it. Every programmer at Google knows that there are people who think they know their stuff who don't have the first clue what a string is. In short it is a tragedy but it isn't the industries fault, its the education.

  40. Mr. Wadhwa you are too big of a player in tech to be talking like this. It isn't what you are saying but why you are saying it. It isn't sexism in the industry that is causing the gap. Just to make sure though you follow yourself up with reverse sexism blaming the industry. It is sickening. Instead of sitting on a soap box talking about nothing how about you go solve the problem of the education in systems and programming that women aren't getting?

  41. Why people mention only some jobs which are not filled with more women? Some smart guys talk only about politicians, managers and other leading functions. Whats about jobs like brick layers, plummers, lorry drivers, soldiers, coal diggers etc. Heh? It is very simple. Men and women ARE different. Always were and (probably) always will be. Why nobody complains about the other side? Nursery teachers, secretaries, hospital nurses etc. Has anybody say: We have to put more men into nurseries! Ha ha ha! I always wander what kind of people say these things. Maybe future politicians or people with issues who would like to lick boss' arse? I still remember my female classmates who were telling me: I hate math! Thats because the male and female brain are completely different things. I am not surprised he got lots of negative feedback.

  42. He's right. There's a ton of sexism in Silicon Valley. Anyone who's worked there knows this. But of course we'll have the e-sexists come out in droves and pretend that everything is perfectly equal and that we don't have many women in tech solely  because they choose other careers or some other nonsense excuse.

  43. We should totally do the same for sports too then, install an equal amount of races and genders… That will make the NBA better right? Forced diversification is discrimination.

  44. My god. The comments. Never tell a discriminated group they aren't oppressed. It's a slap in the face. Whether it be because of sex, race, or religion.

  45. Gender clash is a tricky thing, his whole speech is sexist. why not talk about people as people, why does it always come down to women/men being treated as such and such. But in this i do want to point out that men do tend to take bigger risk, most multi-billion dollar companies were started by men (this is also probably due to the suppression of women) but i see women as equals, not better not worse but equals.

  46. I don't know about other countries but in India women are really discouraged to pursue engineering, physics or mathematics. I don't know the reason but women in Indian society are mostly encouraged to pursue medicine, biology or commerce or humanities. But in my personal experience I have seen a lot of women who are really good in physics and maths and perform better than many boys in the class.  

  47. Women need to have the same opportunities as men and if they don't (Silicon Valley in this case) then something has to be done.
    However 50/50 men and women in this field is unlikely because one has to take into consideration that men and women are fundamentally different in many ways witch affects their choise in careers. I'm not talking about if they're able, but what they are interrested in. This may certainly be affected by what they're told in the upbringing of 'what a girl should be interrested in', but not solely by this as Vivek proposed.

  48. Oh this topic has so much potential for a good conversation, but he ruins it with his choice of words…

    So, I award him no points and may God have mercy on his soul…

  49. The author keeps referring to women as "The better half"?

    Do you suppose that might be the first problem?  When you talk about engineering, when you talk about these disciplines generally, you're talking about businesses where people go to all kinds of extremes, work extremes, silly extremes, creative extremes, pie-in-the-face extremes.

    We have a society which PROTECTS women from extremes.  Indeed, society regularly protects women from extremes, including extreme male behavior.  The way every other field has been opened up to women has been to close down extreme behaviour.  The problem is – the best and the brightest happen at the extreme.

    So yeah, Google had a problem with people showing up … without clothes.  They fixed that.

    You want to stifle creativity to make it safe for women.  Yes, I recognize that one can create with clothing on, but the reality is the engineering bleeding edge is not a safe place.

    I'm not just referring to physical safety – but rather emotional safety, sense of place, sense of ego, sense of normal.

  50. I agree with most of what he says but I strongly, and I cannot stress this, strongly take exception to these accusations that men in general are keeping the women down and that personally I have a duty to rectify this. 

    I don't have a duty because I am not responsible for what MOST women decide to do with their lives, namely, not get involved with technical things. That is not my problem that many girls were raised by close-minded fathers who gave them Barbies and toy pots and pans instead of letting her choose what she wants to play with. 

    I have never told a girl she couldn't do anything because of her gender, and I have never hit on a girl in a professional setting nor have I ever attempted to rape one. Yes, some men have done that and they're assholes for it, but, I take exception to being lumped in with these guys. 

    Heck, I'm so insecure about my looks that most times I don't even look in the direction of a woman lest she might notice my lack of attractiveness. I have been very laissez faire with them in University and at work. Yes, I will talk to them if I am directly working with them but I will always conduct myself in a professional manner. 

    Nevertheless, it is not my direct responsibility that women prosper in the workplace since that depends on many factors that are outside of my control, such us but not limited to:

    – them actually being interested in technical things
    – them actually having the necessary skills to do technical things
    – them not bringing their pre-conceptions about men being jerks to the table
    – them having the confidence and self-esteem to believe that they can do what is asked of them
    – etc.

    I will certainly be partial to being welcoming, being cooperative, being collaborative, being willing to learn from them, and willing to teach them. But ultimately I am not responsible for their success anymore than they are responsible for mine as a male.

    So if that results in a skewed ratio of males to females in the workplace, so be it.

  51. Women are the most productive part of our society? I think you mean most destructive. Last time I checked people are free to do what they want in this country. If women aren't innovating its because they aren't natural innovators. Look back in history and notice all inventions were produced by men. Men are the most productive part of society and thats just the fucking truth. This guy makes me fucking sick and every guy like him. Go fuck your brown wife and leave other humans out of this victim society you got rolling around in your head. Fucking comes to our country and starts judging Americans on their biases. What a piece of shit.

  52. When it come to innovation, I guess nobody stops nobody. Science and technology definitely has no gender bias. Business? May be. Still, nobody stops nobody.
    Yes, I see less number of women engineers than men. But whats wrong with that? If they want to, they will do what they want. Somebody may also argue that why there are very few men in humanities and sociology.
    Since ages, human has been evolved like that. Women used to manage home, do artistic stuff and men used to do hunting or engineering stuff. Whats wrong in that. Managing home is not a lower level skill or job. Perhaps, it may be difficult in emotional terms like technology was more about intelligence.
    But those were old days. Now, everybody is free to choose their job, skill, interest. If most of the women do not want to be entrepreneur,  engineer or innovator, then what is wrong with that?
    Why do anybody should think that doing business or technology is better than managing home or nursing or taking care.
    Yes, one thing I may agree with is that there are still a few places in the world where women are restricted for many things and that is the real problem.

  53. I see he got his now standard disclaimer in early; it basically amounts to saying that if you don't agree with me, then that just proves I'm right – Oh and you're probably a misogynist!

  54. I notice there's a huuge gender gap in the fasion industry. Women and gay men make an ovewhelming majority. There's hardly any stright men there! We have to fight this evil discrimation of the fashion industry!!

  55. NO women who would want to bear a child, who knew she would eventually find herself responsible for the well-being of a baby, would spontaneously go to a field, a market, or an industry with 80% or 90% of failure rate. 

  56. What a patronizing point of view! The eternal victimized woman.
    How come there are so few africans or african descendents in the Valley?
    Don't tell me it is because of racism: you are a perfect example why not.
    Asiatic types are present. Mid-east types too. Europeans from all latitudes as well.
    Puzzling: women, blacks and aborigines are not represented.
    Now make a new video and use reasonable arguments.

  57. So me and wife happened to walk past a burning building. We sad a bunch of firemen rushing to put out the flames and some even running into the building obviously trying to rescue the people trapped inside. I then said to my wife "Do you notice something strange here?" "Look around what don't you see here" I was getting frustrated with her. I then told her "Where are the women?" Then I think a light went off in her head and she said "Why aren't there women rushing into burning buildings in order to put out flames and rescue the people trapped inside". How can such an important job like this leave out the most productive part of our population? 

  58. Your work is one of a kind widely missunderstood by many. But you are doing What has to be done. and never mind those who are in particular not female and understand not much about labor market and gender bias. Thank you for a very inspiring speech 

  59. As a Berkeley female engineer, the comments really depress me. I do not like how the video said that women have maternal instincts and thus would do better in business but I also do not like the fact that people in the comments are saying "well men have it bad too so shut up". It is true that there are less women in the tech industry even when women and me similarly in STEM classes. I know that women are less likely to be killed and more pitied, but that doesn't discount the problem. That's just a fallacy. We should be promoting girls in the military or in mining and men into house husbands and fashion. Men should be able to embrace their "empathetic" side as much as women should be able to embrace their interests in science. I wish people could stop using one problem to try to dismantle another problem. Gender equality is literally gender equality. Gender gaps in any field should be talked about.

  60. OK so at first hes like "barbies put women in stereotypical gender rolls, I'm thinking, OK hes against gender stereotypes, then he also refers to women as "the most productive part of our population" and the "better half of our population" and says that women are better at finances and money management. If this guy wants to get an ounce of respect for his cause he needs to stop being a hypocrite and bashing some gender stereotypes while reinforcing others, especially the stereotypes that are against the gender that he is trying to convince, its like he is saying "OK men, you need to stop being sexist towards women and treat everyone the same because women are obviously better than you", no wonder people are opposing him.

  61. "How dare we treat the better half of our population like this." -Vivek Wadhwa
    That sentence tells you exactly the kind of "equality" he is after.

  62. His reasoning is fallacious sometimes and therefore its not a cogent argument here e.g. kids are given toys they can relate to in some way and incite their imagination which is precisely why girls like 'barbies' and boys like 'masculine' toys.I don't think it hampers any innovation and is rather conducive to innovative thought processes.

  63. wow these comments are totally insane lol. What I took from this vid is , 'There are things we can do to realistically build ethnic/gender diversity in this field that we're currently not doing." Instead of being solution focused everyone's getting 50 shades of butthurt

  64. People are fucked. They would rather be on one side that oppresses and consumes the other than do the Alchemical Tango of Temperament that synergizes both sides

  65. not a negative comment, but this wasn't HIS lightbulb going off it was his wifes' observation. she said 'hey do you notice anything?' she should be the one doing this talk. not him. arrrrrrrggg

  66. Archimedes, Einstein, Galileo, Newton, Fibonacci, Laplace, Fourier, Oersted, Volta, Ampere,
    Watt, Ohm, Coulomb, Hertz, Geiger, Muller, VonBraun, Von Karmen.
    These are a few last names of people in the history of science and mathmatics going
    back to 2300 B.C. These people are all white men.
    Since 1652 80 chemical elements were discoverd in Europe. They were all discovered
    by white men except for 2 discovered by Marie Curie.
    Silicon was discovered by a swedish scientist in 1820.
    Gas, Diesel Turbine Jet engines were invented by white men. Bicycles, motorcycles, car, trains,helicopters, and airplanes were invented by white men. Electricity, electronics, and wireless communications were all developed by white men between 1800 and 1900.
    It alway been white men for over 2000 years.
    It isn't some kind of conspiracy that it turned out as it did.

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