18 June 2016
After a Shareholder of Google’s parent company Alphabet made a sexist remark, 800 Google employees in more than 20 countries are raising awareness about gender inequality.
At the company’s annual meeting last week, an investor addressed a question to Ruth Porat, Alphabets Chief Financial Officer (CF0), describing her as “the lady CFO.”
Ten minutes later, Sonen Capital’s Danielle Ginach stepped to the microphone to call out the man who made the remark. “I am sorry to put another shareholder on the spot,” she said. “But Ms. Porat is the CFO, not the lady CFO.”
Dainelle Ginach later said that she was in disbelief when the shareholder said it. She said: “When it was my turn to speak, there was no way I was not going to acknowledge it.
“She has been a tremendous leader for Google, but her leadership aside, that was an unbelievably sexist comment. Imagine addressing the ‘man CFO.’ What is the relationship between gender and CFO?”
According to USA Today, the idea for “Lady Day” popped up in an email group for Google alumni of leadership development program stretch.
One person suggested a tongue-in-cheek protest, that for two days — Thursday and Friday — in the company directory and in email signatures employees change his or her title to Lady (fill in the blank) as in Lady Software Engineer or Lady Systems Engineer.
Word quickly spread with a logo and internal landing page. The tag line of the protest? “Actually…it’s just CFO.”
“I wanted to do something fun and ‘googley’ that allowed us all to stand together, and to show that someone’s gender is entirely irrelevant to how they do their job,” said Meg Mason, Lady Partner Operations Manager, Shopping.
As of now, more than 800 Googlers — women and men — have changed their job titles in the company-wide directory or in their email signatures.
The “tech industry” is still very young. It has however always been driven and dominated by men. Women occupy just 17 per cent of tech jobs in the UK.
This percentage has reached a plateau in the past five years while the sector has grown in importance to the economy. The struggle for gender equality is real in the tech industry.