March 20, 2012
Some unfortunate events occurred during the afternoon, related to some very poor and offensive wording in the flyer for an event that we were sponsoring. A short summary of what happened:
- An event posting for the Boston API Jam was created containing clearly sexist language. We were listed as a sponsor of the event at the time.
- The sexism in the event details was pointed out to us by many followers on Twitter (special thanks to @coolaunterin!)
- Before the flyer was posted, we were unaware of the specific wording that was going to be used in the flyer.
- We, and other companies, pulled our sponsorships from the event.
All of us at CloudMine agreed that this type of language is not acceptable, and we made an effort to contact the organizers of the event to get this changed as quickly as possible. Sexism in tech is a serious problem. Events like what happened today are, unfortunately, not uncommon. Catering exclusively to men in a sexist manner in your marketing materials is not only wrong, but it undermines those trying to make real progress. It hurts everyone when something like this happens—it can make women feel like outsiders in their own field, and it normalizes this type of behavior as okay (which it absolutely never is, even if there was no intention to hurt).
Having said that, we sincerely apologize for any offense that was caused. We never would have posted something like that, and do not endorse anyone who does.
Since we are no longer sponsoring this event, we now have extra funding to sponsor a different event which is more aligned with our views. We love hackathons—our company born at one—and we’d like to put this money to good use at an event that will bring all hackers (women and men alike!) together. Give us your suggestions in the comments or on Twitter (@CloudMine).