It’s hard to ignore the comparisons between the tech industry and a frat house. With diversity numbers still shockingly low — the entire computing workforce is only 26% women — it can feel like an all-boys club. According to The New York Times, it seems a group of Twitter employees took that sentiment to the next level and made an in-office celebration out of it. Not the best call.
The San Francisco-based company, whose employee base is 70% male, hosted a happy hour it dubbed "Twitter Frat House" — complete with red Solo cups, beer pong, and kegs galore. The get-together was an internal event hosted by the company's revenue department.
After images began to circulate on social media (posted in the Global Women In Tech Facebook group) Twitter realized its frat-themed gathering was in poor taste. This is particularly true seeing as the tech behemoth is in the middle of a gender discrimination lawsuit; former engineer Tina Huang is suing the company because of its unclear and male-favoring promotion process.
Twitter promptly apologized, and representative Jim Prosser released a statement concluding that the party’s theme was “ill chosen" considering the industry’s gender disparities and was not “in light of the culture" at Twitter.
It’s pretty shocking that something like this would fly — especially in the face of the company’s efforts with WomEng and SWAT, which are aimed at diversifying the workplace. We can only hope that, moving forward, the company (and the tech industry as a whole) will make better judgment calls.