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Susan Wojcicki has a solution to Silicon Valley sexism

The YouTube chief says hiring more women will help defeat an atmosphere that allows discrimination and harassment.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki

More women in the workplace would go a long way toward eliminating tech's bro culture, says YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

Kimberly White/Getty Images

The bro culture that dominates Silicon Valley companies makes YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki mad, especially when it contributes to an atmosphere that allows harassment of female employees.

Wojcicki notes in an essay published Thursday by Vanity Fair that the tech industry is no stranger to allegations of explicit gender discrimination and harassment. Recent examples she cited were former Uber engineer Susan Fowler's claims last month of institutionalized sexual harassment at the ride-hailing company and A.J. Vandermeyden's story alleging a culture of "pervasive harassment" at Tesla.

"Like many who read the stories, I was mad," she wrote. "But I was also frustrated that an industry so quick to embrace and change the future can't break free of its regrettable past."

She offers what is perhaps an obvious solution to the problem, one many companies have tried for years to accomplish: Hire more women.

"Employing more women at all levels of a company, from new hires to senior leaders, creates a virtuous cycle," Wojcicki wrote. "Companies become more attuned to the needs of their female employees, improving workplace culture while lowering attrition. They escape a cycle of men mostly hiring men. And study after study has shown that greater diversity leads to better outcomes, more innovative solutions, less groupthink, better stock performance and G.D.P. growth."

Indeed, studies indicate that more-diverse teams, in terms of gender and race, show greater creativity and experimentation -- and get better results.

But change has come slowly.

Many large tech companies are grappling with how to increase diversity in the workforce. Women made up 25.8 percent of Microsoft's global workforce at the end of September, a decline of 1 percent from the previous year, according to a company diversity report released in November.

Microsoft's overall gender diversity puts it behind such tech giants as Apple, Facebook and Google, but not by much. All three of those companies reported last year that women made up only about 30 percent of their workforces.

Solving for XX: The industry seeks to overcome outdated ideas about "women in tech."

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