Instead, his words reminded me of an article I read several years ago by Peggy McIntosh entitled, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack." In it, McIntosh suggests that those who hold a position of privilege are often completely unaware of the privileges they hold in every walk of life. McIntosh first wrote about gender bias and male privilege and later adapted her work to explore white privilege.
Many women, especially young women, fear that they are not good enough to compete in what has traditionally been a man's world. They lack mentors and leadership that encourages them to think about the trajectory of their careers. While these are common factors that prevent women from entering into or staying in the tech industry, I'm not sure that men understand how their privileges create what women feel is an uncomfortable and unwelcoming working environment.
If there is any hope of changing the work place culture of the tech industry, those who have privileges unavailable to others need to recognize what those privileges are in order to share them. As McIntosh points out, though, privilege is a form of power. If one recognizes his privilege, will he really want to give it up?
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