Google Exec Walks Into a Conference on Sexism & Acts Like Total Sexist: We're Still Waiting for The Punchline

Eric SchmidtGoogle executive chairman Eric Schmidt inadvertently made a case for unconscious bias when he reportedly interrupted and talked over the only woman on a tech panel at South By Southwest -- and was called out by his own female employee!

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Schmidt, who was taking part in a panel about the lack of diversity in the technology sector, apparently was talking over the only woman on the panel, so much so that a questioner from the audience pointed it out to him, to applause from the audience.

That questioner reportedly turned out to be Judith Williams, who teaches "unconscious bias" bias workshops at Google and is the manager of the company's global diversity program. Talk about irony -- or perhaps this was totally fitting.

It's unclear if Schmidt is just a mic hog who also interrupted the male on the panel, but since he was taken to task by Williams, presumably she had good reason to do so. I mean, this is her boss. You don't think she's going to mess with him for no good reason, do you?

First off, this shows you how unconscious this kind of bias really is -- I mean, there you are talking about the lack of gender equality in technology, and then you're talking willy nilly over the only woman on the panel as if what she has to say doesn't matter? By the way, the woman was Chief Technology Officer of the United States Megan Smith. Wow, what a title! To be chief of anything of the entire country? Dang.

Anyway, what really impresses me here is that Williams called out her own boss. That's not an easy thing to do. In fact, most would say it's career suicide.

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So kudos to Williams for being one helluva brave woman with a lot of integrity. And perhaps kudos to Schmidt, who maybe is a mic hog (especially if the other mic belongs to a woman), but perhaps Williams was comfortable calling him out, knowing he would appreciate being corrected. Any boss who can take criticism from an employee is a great boss in my book!

Do you think she did the right thing? Do male colleagues or bosses ever interrupt you and talk over you?

 

Image via Rob Kim/Getty Images Entertainment

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