Now as a rule I have mainly stayed away from the whole ‘women in IT’ arguments because I haven’t agreed with some of the points raised (most of them in fact), and I feel they have not been helpful to women at all.
Even after a certain vendor, (who shall remain nameless because I don’t want to give them any more publicity), posted a picture of a semi-naked woman this week to promote a ‘half price’ sale – I stayed out of it. But look the story up on Channelweb if you haven't already seen it!
This is something that our industry has done for years, and while I don’t like it or agree with it, I accept that some ‘marketing’ and management people in the channel are still living and acting like it is the 1970s.
Luckily the majority of us have moved on and realise that women are actually a vital part of the channel, and we need to encourage more females to consider IT as a career.
Increasingly industry events (such as Infosec) are banning the use of ‘booth babes’ because they are believed to be detrimental to business and send out the wrong message – so mindsets are changing. Which is progress.
The response of said vendor was that the majority of their customers are male between the ages of 18 and 42 and this sort of thing appeals to them. Wrong.
Interestingly it sparked an outcry on Twitter, with the majority of responses from men claiming the image was ‘sexist’ and unnecessary, and stressing that they would never use said product.
Good on them.
And it was for that reason – the absolute outcry that this act prompted on Twitter - that we felt it was a story worth covering, if purely to spark debate. It has been one of our most read stories of the week.
Sadly we didn’t bank on certain people’s inability to have an intelligent debate.
“Ug ug” as the cavemen used to say.
‘Yawn’ said one response. Yes ‘Yawn’ indeed. Yawn for having to put up with ridiculously dressed women splashed across Twitter to sell an IT product that is about as sexy as an infected toe.
‘Poor journalism’ insinuated a couple of others. Really? Poor journalism to point out something that is blatantly outdated in the modern world and that is found distasteful by 50 per cent of the population? Wow. I'll get back in the kitchen then shall I?
I accept that the IT industry is not the only one that does this, and in fact others are far worse – but just because other industries do it – does it make it right?
As my mum used to say to me, “If so-and-so ran under a bus, would you do the same?”
And for the record – I don’t believe scantily-clad men should be used to promote IT products either.
Bring on the ‘debate’. I’m ready for it.
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