Despite Talk Of Abolishing Sexism In Tech, Companies Are Still Making Dumb Mistakes

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BLOG: IBM sparks controversy after it tries to attract women to tech with a hairdryer

We could give IBM the benefit of the doubt here. Hairdryers are a piece of technology, a piece of technology used in many millions of homes around the world. What’s to say IBM’s latest campaign about hacking a hairdryer isn’t just aimed at any wet-headed human who uses a hairdryer?

I use a hairdryer. It’s great because it dries your hair and dry hair is nice no matter what gender you identify with.

Oh yeah, but IBM is marketing its latest #hackahairdryer experiment exclusively at women. Because I assume that IBM assumes hairdryers are probably at the pinnacle of what women think, know, and are interested in?

#HackAHairDryer

Come on, IBM.

Women on Twitter have lambasted IBM’s campaign, one which was started in October, but really came to the public’s awareness over the weekend when IBM tweeted this:

IBM

Who signs this off? Who, in 2015, thinks that this is a good idea? Big Blue is just one amongst many tech giants which are still making idiotic mistakes when it comes to including all sexes in technology and STEM subjects overall.

TechWeekEurope contacted IBM for comment. A spokesperson replied: “The videos were part of a larger campaign to promote STEM careers. It missed the mark for some and we apologise. It is being discontinued.”

Microsoft’s summer slip-up comes to mind here, when the company reckoned that men are best left to developing and women should go work in marketing.

I’m not trying to speak on behalf of women here, and there will obviously be plenty who find this not insulting at all, but we’ll leave you with a few examples of female engineers, scientists, and technologists who found IBM’s blunder quite frankly awful.

IBM

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