A couple of good things came out of Ellen Pao’s lawsuit—we now know about the gender abuse that prevails in another industry where you’d think intellect would prevail over childish pitfalls – Silicon Valley. Yes, we humans have come a long way – and then again, we haven’t. The other thing Pao’s case showed us is that women are underrepresented in the financial and tech worlds. But that’s it. The lawsuit is otherwise not a good thing for women. It puts us in a crappy light in an employer’s eye: “what if I hire her, then have to fire her for being a bad employee, and have to worry about her playing the gender card in a lawsuit?”
I also find one of her comments after the judgment hypocritical: “if we don’t shine a light, things won’t change.” I seriously doubt she was trying to shine a light anywhere. If she really was, she’d have sued for a dollar – or for just lawyer fees. I think she was hoping for a big check.
Do you really want to be hired simply because of your gender? Or do you want to be hired because of your accomplishments? Will a victory in any field mean anything to you if it was handed to you merely on the basis of your gender?
Anyhow, let’s see what’s new in the tech world. Cyanogen is trying to take Android from Google, and it now has Microsoft’s support. Now I see why MS a couple of weeks ago announced that Windows 10 would be free for mobile – Satya Nadella wants to get everyone dependent on Windows 10, and then rake in the cash from sales of his other stuff. Same principle as you’d see in the street drug market. First one’s always free. MS has also been wooing cell phone makers – Samsung’s Galaxy S6 will come with MS apps pre-installed. Plus, you can get a year of free Netflix when you buy the phone. But Cyanogen isn’t the first to modify Android and put its own apps on the phone as defaults – the Chinese Xiaomi has already done it (their phone is not available in the US). No doubt there will be others. Will Google survive? Page doesn’t seem that distressed over this—so he must have a trick up his sleeve. It’ll be interesting to see what it is.