Susan Wojcicki: Tech CEOs should make gender diversity a personal priority

Susan Wojcicki: Tech CEOs should make gender diversity a personal priority

Image: Krista Kennell /

The CEO of YouTube has said industry heads need to make gender diversity a priority, as tech lags behind other male-dominated industries when it comes to gender balance.

Wojcicki said tackling the issue needs both the “commitment and attention” of the CEO, and it requires “dedicated resources, clear goals, comprehensive analytics and company-wide transparency”.

Her comments in Vanity Fair follow recent allegations of sexism and discrimination against two of Silicon Valley’s power players.

Susan Fowler, a former Uber employee published a blog post, where she recounted the sexism and sexual harassment she faced during the year she worked for the company. 

Meanwhile, at Tesla, a female engineer accused the car company of ignoring her complaints of “pervasive harassment”.

In the article, Wojcicki writes that the solution to address gender discrimination in all its forms is to hire more women.

She said: “Employing more women at all levels of a company, from new hires to senior leaders, creates a virtuous cycle.

“Companies become more attuned to the needs of their female employees, improving workplace culture while lowering attrition. They escape a cycle of men mostly hiring men.”

Under her leadership, the percentage of female workers at YouTube has increased from 24 per cent to 30 per cent, and while Wojcicki highlights the progress that has occurred, she concedes that the video platform operator still has a long way to in improving its diversity balance.

She said: “Clearly, we and other companies still have a lot of work to do. I hope this is the year in which C.E.O.s decide to take gender equality personally, give underrepresented groups the support they need, and use their positions to elevate more diverse leaders.

Wojcicki also stressed the key role of the powerful and influential, such as line managers, when it comes to elevating women in the workplace.

She said: “Addressing gender imbalance will require those who currently have power and influence to extend their privilege.

“As someone who’s been lucky to have a great career in tech, I know how creative and fulfilling a career in this industry can be for women. And I want to make sure we continue to recruit and retain great female hires.”

Read the full article here.


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