Saturday, February 1, 2020

Anna Wiener

Anna Wiener writes about tech culture for The New Yorker; she also wrote a book, Uncanny Valley, about her time working for Silicon Valley startups.

From Wiener's interview with Jessica Zack for the San Francisco Chronicle:

Q: What excited you about moving to San Francisco in 2013 and joining the tech industry you admit you weren’t sure you were cut out for?

A: In part it was an experiment, when I was 25 and feeling stuck, in wanting my life to move faster. I felt like my identity was more aligned with the publishing world, but it’s a slow-moving industry and everyone’s climbing the ladder in a way that feels a little antiquated. Actually, it only felt antiquated once I got here and saw how fast people could move and how much opportunity there was, how quickly decisions were made.

I think what drew me is that I found this culture, the mood, the energy, the spirit of the workplace really intoxicating. I was drawn to the confidence all around me. I was suddenly surrounded by people who were so confident and convinced that they deserved to be where they were, and that what they were doing had moral value, if not moral superiority.

Q: That confidence was exuded almost exclusively by men. You write candidly about being a woman in tech, which you describe as being “in a position of ceaseless, professionalized deference to the male ego.”

A: I have a lot to say about that. My experience was fairly positive, given the range of things that have happened to other women I know. But the sense of it being a boys’ club was real. I was subjected to a fair amount of sexism at my first job, but it wasn’t a hotbed of sexual harassment. At my third job...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue