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Review Brotopia Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley

For women in tech Silicon Valley is not a fantasyland where millions of dollars grow on trees It's a Brotopia where men hold all the cards and make all the rules Vastly outnumbered women face toxic workplaces rife with discrimination and sexual harassment where investors take meetings in hot tubs and network at sex partiesIn this powerful exposé Bloomberg TV journalist Emily Chang reveals how Silicon Valley got so sexist despite its utopian ideals why bro culture endures despite decades of companies claiming the moral high ground Don't Be Evil Con It sucks that the really long review I originally wrote was deleted but I care about voicing this opinion SO MUCH that I m willing to give it another go Like other readers expecting an in depth revelatory historiography on the tech industry and how it has come to tolerate the behavior that it does this book is instead a collection of Silicon Valley s most offensive hits slap dashed together without than a cursory surface exploration for the profit of the author This book failed on a lot of fronts particularly when it came to illustrating any way to change things It wasn t all bad I enjoyed learning that women usually found e commerce businesses focused on fashion parenthood family or community and that investors generally hate that I also enjoyed learning that a particular career aptitude test is to blame for creating the antisocial coder stereotype and that polyamory is alive well and seemingly contributing to the terrible sexist meritocracy that is the tech industry HOWEVER Beyond the monotonous syntax and redundant structure these are my two main issues 1 Chang relegates any uantitative arguments and resources to the back of the book without any indication in the main body of the text that these resources exist 2 Chang offers no course of action for women in the workforce amid this dramatic expose of things we already know There is no course for those that wish to empower themselves and others There is so much energy spent discussing the emotional labor of trying to get ahead in toxic work environments that there is no talk whatsoever about how women are moving forward Surely with something as important as this an index of female friendly VC firms or incubators or investors would not have been out of place Surely a collection of free resources and communities to depend upon and build wouldn t have been too much to ask or a list of organizations you could invest in yourself As to the first argument here is my case in point When discussing James Da s Google memo Chang mentioned the scientific studies referenced in said memo did not indicate the scientific community shared a consensus as to whether nature or nurture influences women s career decisions She left it at that Why not discuss those studies talk to researchers give some hard numbers for readers to use when next they encounter someone who shares Da s views We need talking points I was surprised that a journalist of Chang s caliber couched such important arguments in personal anecdotes we know already How can this be a powerful expose when we already know what s been exposed How is this helpful Why was this written and what did I just read despite a lot of women saying yeah it s fricken tough and moving on The entire book ended with an awkwardly forced encounter with Girls Who Code participants Chang said it s a dire situation and basically ended it there So I guess my uestion is okay and

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Brotopia Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley

Nect the World and how women are finally starting to speak out and fight backDrawing on her deep network of Silicon Valley insiders Chang opens the boardroom doors of male dominated venture capital firms like Kleiner Perkins the subject of Ellen Pao's high profile gender discrimination lawsuit and Seuoia where a partner once famously said they won't lower their standards just to hire women Interviews with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki and former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer who got their start at Google where just one in five e I REALLY wanted to like this book This is a topic I care a lot about I called out the CEO of my company at all hands for not having enough women on the leadership team I read in my neighborhood blog that Emily Chang is a neighbor She seems rad I want to be friends with her But even stillI had hoped this book would capture what it felt like to be woman working in tech in SV and why women are treated the way they are It felt like that Emily Chang focused on the big names that she was connected to from working at Bloomberg News It mostly felt like a rehash of recent women in tech news For example she talks about PayPal mafia and then she talks to Max Levchin about his current company Affirm He talks about how the environment at Affirm is way different than PayPal But it s all from Max s perspectiveI wanted to read the book where we then hear about the experience from a female engineer on Affirm s teaminstead giving platform to anotherwhite maleYou get Sheryl Sandberg instead of that woman working at Facebook contemplating freezing her eggs It s all the same perspective that you continually hear about in tech news

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Ngineers is a woman reveal just how hard it is to crack the Silicon Ceiling And Chang shows how women such as former Uber engineer Susan Fowler entrepreneur Niniane Wang and game developer Brianna Wu have risked their careers and sometimes their lives to pave a way for other womenSilicon Valley's aggressive misogynistic work at all costs culture has shut women out of the greatest wealth creation in the history of the world It's time to break up the boys' club Emily Chang shows us how to fix this toxic culture to bring down Brotopia once and for all I had high hopes for this book to be the book that addresses the gender biases in tech and the workplace I was really hoping that a journalist at Bloomberg could shed some serious light on this timely issue Instead I found the book to be poorly research and one that mostly read like Page Six name dropping and exaggerated story telling Perhaps she is planning to go work at TMZ One sentence on page 166 yes I read the whole book captures it all whatever happened men in technology are finally being held accountable There it is She does not care to get a fully story to verify facts or to take accountability for erroneous descriptions I feel confident posting this because I first hand know that there are erroneous descriptions in this book Hence I can confidently deduce that the fact checking was loose or absent Exactly what we need in todays world fake news taunted as investigative reporting Sorry Emily but you failed women journalism and the current gender conversation


10 thoughts on “Brotopia Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley

  1. says:

    I know how tricky it can be for a white straight cis dude to write anything negative about a book like this I feel that my identity will be held against me and my review discounted as a result but I’m going to share a review anywayThis book is a missed opportunity So much hype for it So much interest in it But so little promise fu

  2. says:

    It sucks that the really long review I originally wrote was deleted but I care about voicing this opinion SO MUCH that I'm willing to give it another go Like other readers expecting an in depth revelatory historiography on the tech industry and how it has come to tolerate the behavior that it does this book is instead a collection of Silicon Valley's most offensive hits slap dashed together without than a curs

  3. says:

    I couldn't get enough of this book You don't need to be someone who works in Silicon Valley or identify as female to appreciate this book As someone who works on the fringe of this world and with many of these companies and the women men of Silicon Valley I found the history lesson incredibly valuable I appreciated Chang's artful mix of data anecdote and interview to paint an informed picture of who why what how So much of the n

  4. says:

    This book is well researched and well considered While Silicon Valley has been impacted by #metoo with some powerful men stepping down from their companies it's not enough just to think in terms of a few bad apple

  5. says:

    This was really interesting While many of us are all aware of sexism in general and in tech I learned a lot I didn't know like how the first few tech companies got started and how the culture at those companies rippled throughout Silicon Valley And that even good intentions like Google's commitment to hiring women from the

  6. says:

    I REALLY wanted to like this book This is a topic I care a lot about I called out the CEO of my company at all hands for not having enough women on the leadership team I read in my neighborhood blog that Emily Chang is a neighbor She seems rad I want to be friends with her But even stillI had hoped this book would capture what it felt like to be woman working in tech in SV and why women are treated the way they are It

  7. says:

    This is a well written book You can tell Emily uses her Bloomberg speaking skills and translates them on paper about an important discussion about the lack of women in technology; this specifically in Silicon Valley There are reasons for that and it’s the bro environment Some CEOs and venture capitalists sound like utte

  8. says:

    BROTOPIA BREAKING UP THE BOYS’ CLUB OF SILICON VALLEY popped onto my reading radar while speaking with a former colleague

  9. says:

    I had high hopes for this book to be the book that addresses the gender biases in tech and the workplace I was really hoping that a journalist at Bloomberg could shed some serious light on this timely issue Instead I found

  10. says:

    I'd hand out copies of this to everyone I know if I could The groundbreaking books I've read by journalists lately are really setting my reading standards high and I LOVE it Emily Chang spent years writing this book and it shows through every page The stories she uncovers and facts she shares are wild and the overarching message of severe gender ineuality is wildly important I wish she went a little further beyond women in Silic