In some fields, the women of the class went on to equal or outshine the men, including an Olympic gold medalist and the class’s best-known celebrity. Nearly half the 1,700-person class were women, and plenty were adventurous and inventive, tinkerers and computer camp veterans who competed fiercely in engineering contests; one won mention in the school paper for creating a taco-eating machine.
Yet instead of narrowing gender gaps, the technology industry created vast new ones, according to interviews with dozens of members of the class and a broad array of Silicon Valley and Stanford figures. “We were sitting on an oil boom, and the fact is that the women played a support role instead of walking away with billion-dollar businesses,” said Kamy Wicoff, who founded a website for female writers.
Ms. DiLullo blew past those limits; at 24, she threw herself into an idea for an online gift registry. When she and her business partner met with one venture capitalist, he looked at them and said, “I see the pretty girls. Beyond the pretty girls, what do you have for me?”
Food for thought. Why do Stanford’s diversity efforts seem like such a failure when you look at gendered divisions in tech?