Why Silicon Valley’s most astute critics are all women | Technology | The Guardian
The first conclusion is that the industry that is reshaping our societies and undermining our democracies is overwhelmingly dominated by males. Yet – with a few honourable exceptions – male critics seem relatively untroubled by, or phlegmatic about, this particular aspect of the industry; they seem to see it as inevitable and pass on to more ostensibly urgent concerns.
The chronic lack of gender diversity in tech has been well known for ages and recent years have seen many of the companies admitting to the problem and vowing to do better. But progress has been mighty slow.
My hunch is that however much the industry bleats about gender diversity, it doesn’t truly see it as a real problem. Male-dominated firms still receive more than 80% of venture-capital funding and the money often goes to entrepreneurs promising to create products or services that supposedly address consumers’ real needs.
Many of the most trenchant critics of the technology and its deployment by Silicon Valley are women of colour. That’s no accident, because they in particular are understandably attentive to the ways in which, for example, machine learning and facial recognition technology embody the prejudices embedded in the datasets that trained them.