Every one loves a good top 40 list. They're catchy, easy reading (or listening), and usually make a good guilty pleasure debate over who made the cut.
But outside of Time Magazine's annual 100 Most Influential People list, we don't often see "top" lists of people from various disciplines wherein their ranking is based purely on skill; meritocratic lists are hard to come by.
Recently, the women of the tech industry almost got theirs. Almost.
Complex magazine recently published what was supposed to be a list of the 40 Hottest Women in Tech taking "hottest" to mean the most capable, intelligent women who are kicking ass and taking names at their jobs in a field largely dominated by men. Only one problem: the list ended up being another ogling list edited from its original version.
The original list and article was written by Complex writer Luke Winkie, who was supposedly not thrilled with the assignment; but what writer can refuse a $500 paycheck for a Complex slide show? So he figured he'd do the ladies a solid and make his list about brains rather than beauty.
Unfortunately, the Complex editorial staff wasn't quite on the same page. Some of the names were switched out for "hotter" alternatives, several of whom are not even in the "tech" field. Not being in tech doesn't make these women any less remarkable for their success and business-savvy, but unfortunately for this list, Complex readers, and the women in tech they replaced, they don't actually qualify to be on it.
The backlash from several of the women who are actually in tech and either on (or off) the list was considerable. Most were insulted that the list was altered to celebrate looks over ability, and to add insult to injury, Complex managed to bungle a few job titles as well.
To all ladies in Tech: we know how cool and capable you are. Keep it up.
To the editors at the aforementioned magazine: Shame Complex. Shame.