Goldman Sachs Tries To Get Past 'Old Boy's Club' Mentality — And Fails Miserably

Goldman Sachs Tries To Get Past 'Old Boy's Club' Mentality — And Fails Miserably

A weekend conference at Harvard University aimed at fostering women's interest in tech offered some major swag for attendees.

Unfortunately Goldman Sachs, the conference's biggest sponsor, included a cosmetic mirror and nail file in their gift bag, which was off-putting for some at the Women Engineers Code, or WECode, event.

It's debatable whether "sexy feminism" inheres in a mirror compact or a nail file, as one attendee shared on her Instagram account.


A Goldman Sachs spokeswoman said in a statement regarding the aforementioned items, "We are strong supporters of efforts to recruit and retain women in technology. We apologize if the gifts gave anyone offense."

Yet, "efforts to recruit and retain women" seems to be built on a strategy of marketing to women based on overtly simplistic, trans-historical, misogynistic gender stereotypes of women. Arguably, this campaign would be more successful if companies like Goldman Sachs took a moment to consider the type of women in tech careers, and worked to increase gender parity. Playing into stereotypes is not the way.

Sexism is not a sustainable business strategy in the t21st century.

Google, another conference sponsor, seems to understand this. Its less offensive swag bag, which included brand-stitched, feminist socks, was smartly fashioned with the techie girl in mind.

Plus, who doesn't like to be comfortable while coding?


How much do you trust the information in this article?

Marcie Bianco

Dr. Marcie Bianco is a Staff Writer at Mic, a Contributing Editor at Curve Magazine, and an adjunct associate professor at Hunter College. She has contributed to AfterEllen, Feministing, The Feminist Wire, The Huffington Post, Lambda Literary, XO Jane, and The Women’s Review of Books. She writes and lectures about ethics, from feminism to race relations. Her current writing projects include a manuscript about lesbian academic affairs and a collection of feminist essays.

MORE FROM

‘Game of Thrones’ gives fans the feminist sex scene we’ve waited seven seasons for

The women of Westeros are reclaiming agency — over the seven kingdoms and over their own bodies.

‘Girls Trip’ made more money in one weekend in the US than ‘Rough Night’ did in a month

'Girls Trip' and 'Rough Night' have roughly the same plot, but one features a black cast while the other is white.

Women beer drinkers finally get the Beer for Her they never asked for

Why drink a rugged manly beer when you can have Aurosa's pink girly beer instead?!

Six months after the Women’s March on Washington, the Resistance Revival has a message for Trump

"Well I/ Went down to the White House and I/ Took back what they stole from me," the Resistance Revival Chorus sang in a Times Square flash mob last weekend.

20 attorneys general write letter urging Betsy DeVos to keep sexual assault protections

The attorneys general reminded DeVos that scrapping Title IX guidance will have a chilling effect on sexual assault and rape reporting rates.

New study suggests high workloads and aging doctor population means looming OB-GYN shortage

Obstetricians and gynecologists are overworked at nearing retirement age — without a younger contingent to replace them.

‘Game of Thrones’ gives fans the feminist sex scene we’ve waited seven seasons for

The women of Westeros are reclaiming agency — over the seven kingdoms and over their own bodies.

‘Girls Trip’ made more money in one weekend in the US than ‘Rough Night’ did in a month

'Girls Trip' and 'Rough Night' have roughly the same plot, but one features a black cast while the other is white.

Women beer drinkers finally get the Beer for Her they never asked for

Why drink a rugged manly beer when you can have Aurosa's pink girly beer instead?!

Six months after the Women’s March on Washington, the Resistance Revival has a message for Trump

"Well I/ Went down to the White House and I/ Took back what they stole from me," the Resistance Revival Chorus sang in a Times Square flash mob last weekend.

20 attorneys general write letter urging Betsy DeVos to keep sexual assault protections

The attorneys general reminded DeVos that scrapping Title IX guidance will have a chilling effect on sexual assault and rape reporting rates.

New study suggests high workloads and aging doctor population means looming OB-GYN shortage

Obstetricians and gynecologists are overworked at nearing retirement age — without a younger contingent to replace them.