The Mayer-Sandberg Spectrum of Gender And Tech Politics

Hello, readers. I was typing this to you from the back row of the Ellen Pao-Kleiner Perkins trial. (More on that later.)

But isn’t it fascinating how wildly divergent the two leading women executives in tech are when it comes to thinking about gender in the industry?

Let’s look at this week alone. On Monday, Medium’s Steven Levy published a wide-ranging profile on Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

Mayer, who barely skipped a beat when she became pregnant and took the helm of the venerable Internet company, told Levy, “I never play the gender card. The moment you play into that, it’s an issue.”


Contrast that with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who is in the midst of a #LeanInTogether campaign demonstrating how men can contribute to gender equality in the workplace. Last night, Sandberg went on Fox News with Megyn Kelly.

Among other topics, they discussed how men can get “more action” in the bedroom just by doing chores, which Sandberg dubbed “choreplay.” More seriously though, Sandberg touched on how challenging it can be for a woman to be likable and competent, whereas men can be “liked for being competent.” (You can watch the video here.)

Progress? Discuss.

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