Vivek Wadhwa explains

Response to “captains and floozies”


Mary, English is the second language that I learned when I was a child—I am an immigrant. And I was not in the USA during the years when I would have learned slang. So I honestly don’t know most slang words. I often have to ask people what some words mean.

At the event, I was arguing for the importance of companies having at least one woman on the interviewing team and the need for them to interview women and minorities. They must hire the best candidates—for competence and ability. But they must also consider women and minorities because they will find great people if they do. I also said that companies should review the job requirements and include only those skills that are mandatory because women don’t like to brag as much as boys do. They will shy away from jobs for which they are not qualified.

On the interviewing committee, I stressed that there must be senior execs—not just low-level or token women/minority staff. I mistakenly used the slang word “floozie” without understanding what it meant. If anyone reviews the video of the event and the context in which I said this, they will undoubtedly see that there was no bad intention. They will see that I was not attacking or condemning anyone but was just trying to make a point about companies taking the hiring of women and minorities very seriously and having senior executives get involved.

When, later in the evening, someone pointed out that the slang word that I used had a different meaning than I thought, I apologized profusely. I felt really, really horrible and I literally lost sleep over this. You, on the other hand, stormed away and behaved in a highly unprofessional manner. I asked several people why you were reacting this way and they said that I should ignore you because you had “personal difficulties”. A couple of people said you had a reputation for behaving in this manner. I did not want to ask more because I was not sure of what was motivating you to behave the way in which you did. That is why I chose not to respond to your barrage of angry tweets.

If you do your homework and read the articles I have written, analyze the research I have done, and understand the amount of time and energy I spend in mentoring women, you will see how wrong your comments are. I have nothing to gain personally. I am fighting for what I believe is right—for women who are being left out of the innovation economy. You can speak to any of the hundreds of women who know my work and my intentions. Speak to the dozens that I mentor.

Here are my last two articles. Anyone can judge my views by reading these.
http://blogs.wsj.com/accelerators/2014/01/22/vivek-wadhwa-steps-to-increasing-the-number-of-women-in-tech/
http://blogs.wsj.com/accelerators/2014/01/22/vivek-wadhwa-keeping-women-in-the-tech-workforce/

Vivek Wadhwa
www.wadhwa.com

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