Google’s much hyped “versus” series is supposed to bring diverse thinkers together to debate important issues. But with one exception the Googleites forgot that you can’t engage a truly wide range of views when you exclude half of humanity from participation.
Of the 22 debaters announced on the Google “versus” web page, Louise Arbour is the only one who brings two X chromosomes to the table.
I am not in a position to demand 50-50 gender parity as none of the outlets for which I write are at that level (though none of them clock in at Google’s pathetic 4.5% female representation either). But in Google’s debate, which focuses on drug policy, the organizers’ disappointing attitude toward women goes beyond numerical under representation.
While shutting out all but one of the women on this planet with expertise in drug policy, Google nonetheless found space for a man who not only has no background in the topic, but also has credible sexual assault charges hanging over his head: Julian Assange.
The Wizards of Google should go beyond the old boys club the next time they plan one of these events.