What Would Carol Do?

I don’t know about you, when I think “Hackers” I think of my friends from school (hey, my nickname is “Nerdette” for crying out loud), or Angelina Jolie in a hockey jersey.  Not strippers.  Aren’t we at a time yet when this bullshit pairing of geeks and hussies is  a thing of the past? Apparently, we aren’t.

I guess if you rub the robot belly, a go-go dancer jumps out.

If you rub the robot's belly, a go-go dancer jumps out.

Last week, Yahoo sponsored an annual event in Taiwan called Hack Day 2009.   So a few things – first, you would think a global enterprise like Yahoo would be a little more discerning in their image, particularly at events they so heavily sponsor.  Second, with a woman CEO named Carol Bartz who’s a breast cancer survivor, what is Corporate HQ’s reaction?  According to this post by Simon Willison and a quick google search, nothing’s been said officially.

What’s even more interesting is that this is not some new PR blunder or an isolated event.  I found someone’s flickr feed from the 2008 Open Hack Day with evidence of women participants here, here and here.  Also, the go-go dancers/ strippers / scantily-clad-women were also there.  But instead of furry boots, they wore hot pants overalls.

So I ask you, what would Carol do?  I hope she and the rest of Yahoo figure out a way to exhibit some corporate leadership and stop allowing ridiculous “entertainment” to be a part of their annual event.  Thinking about the situation reversed, it’s just not pretty.

Please be sure to make your voice heard – a lot of action has happened on twitter, there’s a petition to @yahoo to condemn what happened, and of course there’s the good, old fashioned method of calling their Media Relations office at (408) 349-3300.

Update: Via Twitter, Yahoo tweeted:

“Hack Girls from Y!’s Taiwan event don’t reflect our values. Was inappropriate, we regret offending anyone. We’ll ensure won’t happen again.”

I love the internets.

*Thanks to @womenwhotech for bringing this to my attention.  The pic is a combo from Willison’s post and @womenwhotech’s Twitpic.


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