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April 19, 2004

An invitation

An interesting tidbit regarding the Microsoft/Sun settlement: according to Steve Ballmer, it "got started" when Scott McNealy's wife sent Ballmer's wife an invitation to join them for Easter, without knowing her personally.

Anil Dash comments in a post entitled Why Technology Needs Women:

...just as the technology industry's largest and most successful company merger ever [HP/Compaq] was led by a woman, the cessation of a decades-long rivalry that resulted in some of the least productive and most useless bickering in the technology business was instigated by two women.

Posted by Gina at 02:28 PM in Organizations | Permalink


I'll be writing at my weblog about this, I imagine. But for now I want to say--and this isn't to be negative to Anil--that to see women's participation in technology primarily because we bring in some nurturing, non-competitiveness, get togetherness is just as defeating to women as to say we're not in the field because we can't 'get' technology.

I know that Anil won't understand where I'm coming from, most people probably won't. But press releases like this, followed up by people referring to those 'special qualities' that women bring to technology just depress me.

It's great that the little women solved this Sun/Microsoft battle, but I'd be happier seeing women in the same positions as Ballmer and McNealy.

And I'd be happier if women could be seen as an asset because of our technical ability, rather than our nurturing ability.

This just makes me want to give up.

Posted by: Shelley at Apr 19, 2004 3:49:25 PM

I understand where you're coming from, Shelley - I was disappointed that it came off in the interview as "my wife called his wife" - the womans' names weren't mentioned, and it was something as soft and "nurturing" as an Easter invitation.

But Anil did mention Carly Fiorina, so I don't think he sees *this* type of thing only as women's participation in technology.

Posted by: Gina at Apr 19, 2004 3:57:00 PM

Shelley has a crucial point.

This "settlement" appears to be a creative cover story for the big fish eating the little fish alive. See http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1565005,00.asp for a few of the implications, including the shelving of Java. If the agreement morphs back into sniping and legalisms, shall we count the pundits who declare that "nurturing" doesn't work in the business world? Only technical expertise and business acumen (a.k.a. aggressive colonization) are supposed to be able to succeed in defending market share from open source.

Posted by: Margherite at Apr 20, 2004 3:15:24 PM

Has anyone read the novel The Human Stain by Philip Roth. If so I would like your personal opinion the character named Faunia Farley. How was she able to obtain power by pretending to be iliterate. Also I would like to know if there are any websides I can look at that prove how women can play dumb or stupid and have power by doing so?

Posted by: yes at Apr 27, 2004 9:45:21 PM