A Solution to Silicon Valley’s Woman Problem: Hire More ‘Girls’

A new parody flips the tech industry’s notorious gender gap.
Apr 3, 2015·
Jennifer Swann is TakePart’s culture and lifestyle reporter.

The gender imbalance on the HBO show Silicon Valley is about as egregious as it is in the real Northern California tech industry it lampoons.

That gender gap is a thing of the past in a new parody video that reimagines what the show might look like if it were recast with women—specifically, the struggling millennial ladies of the HBO show Girls.

In Girls of Silicon Valley, created by the all-female sketch comedy quartet JustBoobs, Hannah (played by Stephanie Carrie) might have developed the code of her generation—or at least, a generation. After being encouraged by the wine-swilling, heavy-accented Jessa (Kate McDaniel), Hannah develops a digital project based on her own life and pitches it to a tech company, which is represented by a diverse mixed-gender team.

The scene mimics the pilot of Girls, when Hannah begs her parents for $1,100 a month for the next two years to finish her book—a reasonable request, in her mind, but one that her parents ultimately decline. Except in Girls of Silicon Valley, she is met with rounds of competitive funding offers from Silicon Valley venture capitals—all of whom are women. (It’s wishful thinking: 97 percent of venture capital partners are male, down 1 percent from two decades ago.)

Even with its feminist humor and spot-on spoof of Girls—“I don’t like women telling other women what to code or how to code or when to code it,” Jessa says—the parody doesn’t stray far from the reality of the situation. After one venture capitalist offers Hannah a whopping $10 million, she adds, as a caveat, “At 70 cents on the dollar, because you’re a woman.”

On average, American women make 77 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn, according to the White House. In the Silicon Valley region of California, males with a bachelor’s degree or higher make 40 percent to 73 percent more than women with the same level of education, according to the 2014 Silicon Valley Index report.