Making tech pink won’t attract women

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Tech recruiters are making pink websites, distributing flyers on polka-dot paper, and giving away nail files and cosmetics to attract girls and women to code. Girls and women are turned off.

Such pink-coated outreach efforts are not limited to young women.

At a recent Bay Area tech mixer put on by Girl Geek Dinners, the tech company that chose the decor elected to replace office lightbulbs with pink and purple ones, bathing the entire event in a fuchsia glow. An open bar was covered with a pink sequined runner. Guests were encouraged to take a Cosmo-style personality quiz revealing their nerd girl personas and given slap-bracelets and strawberry lip balm at the door.

Technology has been associated with masculinity since long before the personal computer. Tools used by men – those, say, for building a house – became technology. Tools used by women – sewing machines, KitchenAid mixers, a mortar and pestle – were instead utensils and appliances.

How not to attract women to coding: Make tech pink

Photo, from the article: Bryanna Gigles, 15, and Yvonne Gonzales, 17, at work in a Girls Who Code class at Adobe in June.

The photo is part of a slideshow accompanying the article. The first, main slide displays a young woman showing off her T-shirt, which reads “You are the CSS to my HTML.” She’s looking down at the slogan on the T-shirt, her hands are parting her long hair to display the slogan better, and she’s pushing out the slogan so it’s more visible. In other words BOOBS!! Maybe not the best photo choice for this particular article.

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