In a guest post for TechCrunch Europe, industry veteran Eileen Burbidge takes issue with simply demanding gender equality. Burbidge's thesis is simple: Women should "stop making excuses." "I don’t want someone to cut me some slack or 'give me a chance' just because I’m a woman," she scoffs. "I don't want a hand-out, I don't want to be patronized. I want to be recognized and respected because of what I'm capable of doing and achieving."
Burbidge doesn't buy the argument that there is a bias against women at tech companies. "All of these guys (and others that I know and work with) would love to work with more women," she asserts. "Most of them talk about the value and advantage to their team which would come from added diversity for product design, team dynamics, communication and emotional intelligence."
So why are so few women in Silicon Valley positions of power? Burbidge's blunt assessment is that there aren't enough who are qualified. Claiming she doesn't see "enough women putting themselves forward or taking advantage of opportunities available," Burbidge urges females looking to move up to turn themselves into can't-miss candidates.
Stop making excuses and get on with it. All the men I know are looking out for women to join their teams. But if you're not good enough, you might just not be good enough. Stop using the woman thing as a crutch and work on what needs to be done in order to break-through. I want to change the call to action from asking men to give us a chance to asking women to step it up and make sure you're making it known if you want to be in tech/business — and will be successful in it.