Monday, May 14, 2012

Lost in Translation: Why Did Dell Invite a Danish Speaker to Tell Women in Tech to "Shut Up Bitch"?

Despite living in Austin and knowing several people who work for Dell I really don't know much about the culture of the company. Things seems fine, honestly, way up there in Round Rock. They financed a kickass minor league baseball stadium and that's primarily what I care about.

So color me shocked when a friend in an another tech company forwarded me this bitchy, ball-busting blog post from a Danish lady-writer: "Dress Code: Blue Tie and Male."

Apparently at some conference in Denmark for Dell's European team and other tech folks, Michael Dell made some perfectly saline remarks about cloud computing and Twitter and whatever and was upstaged by Mads Christensen, a man who, at Dell's [the company's] own choosing, "moderated" the event and made some, er, jokes. Hilarious jokes like:  
“The IT business is one of the last frontiers that manages to keep women out. The quota of women to men in your business is sound and healthy. What are you [women] actually doing here?” 
LOLOLOL. What we ladeez in the workforce absolutely need is to be thanked for inventing the rolling pin and to be told to "shut up, bitch" when we have dumb ideas. I don't know if this has any relation to the Dell team or environment here in Austin but wow...a transcontinental PR nightmare at a time when here at home we are having long overdue conversations about whether or not women belong in the workplace. Dell has a shiny webpage about "Women Powering Business" so what gives?

Read more here and here. This event looks to have not received any coverage in the US, though the conference was in April in Copenhagen. Any US Dell people care to weigh in?

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