Written by Geenie Choy
What is more disturbing, is that they do not see their actions as predatory, but rather revolutionary in their challenges towards modern social conservatism. They leverage their power and influence in the field to pressure colleagues into drug use and sexual intercourse.
Once a month, often in lavish mansions, on beachfront properties, or atop extravagant boats, men with senior positions at multi-billion dollar Silicon Valley-based companies gather together in drug and sex-fueled celebrations. These parties often have a much higher women-to-men ratio, and are exclusively limited to those who are personally invited by the host. Upon further inspection, you may recognize the faces of these men as those of the most respectable tech leaders. Though she kept these men anonymous, reporter Emily Chang unveils the hidden misogyny plaguing one of the technological capitals of the world in her blockbuster novel, Brotopia.
According to Chang, these tech magnates are on an ego-driven mission to leverage the wealth and power they have amassed to access luxuries and vice they couldn’t imagine having before they found success. What is more disturbing, is that they do not see their actions as predatory, but rather revolutionary in their challenges towards modern social conservatism. They leverage their power and influence in the field to pressure colleagues into drug use and sexual intercourse. It’s a catch-22 situation for most women: people do business at these parties, but attending them shuts the doors of opportunity because of the scandalous nature of these gatherings.
The imbalance in respect and influence among genders is unfortunately not an issue unique to the tech industry. The entertainment industry has long struggled with obtaining equal respect for its female demographic as well. Late last year, VICE Media was accused of fostering a ‘boys’ club’ culture within the firm and allowing open sexual harassment that management blatantly ignored and tolerated. Moreover, the #MeToo movement shifted the national spotlight to the the horrors of sexual harassment in the workplace, especially in the entertainment industry.
Though many Stern graduates may not immediately enter the entertainment and tech industries, these issues bring to light a problem that plagues the entire professional world: the abuse of wealth and influence. Even finance does not remain unaffected. Although the industry has made commendable strides towards gender equality in recent years, a deeper examination shows the prevalence of a gender imbalance. According to a recent study published by Morgan Stanley, the global financial sector has a perfect 50:50 male to female ratio in terms of employees. However, women continue to lack presence within higher positions, with females making up only 20 percent of board-level directors and 16 percent of senior executives.
The “boys’ club” culture will likely permeate the workforce for many years due to the public’s tolerance and willingness to turn a blind eye after the media hype dies down. But as students from NYU, it is crucial that we keep in mind not only the business ethics we were taught in our classes, but also the respect and open-mindedness we’ve learned in our daily lives.