Tech leaders who Photoshopped 2 women into their company photo highlights how women are STILL underrepresented in corporate spaces

Is Photoshop really the only way to include women these days?
Is Photoshop really the only way to include women these days?

And no, you did not read that wrong.

This is, evidently, how far people are willing to go to hide the fact that, despite global movements like #MeToo and other initiatives to help advance the lives of women, only little has been done to ensure a better future for us.

Last week, Buzzfeed News published an article exposing executives of Silicon Valley; LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and the CEO of Dropbox Drew Houston, who were captured posing alongside Italian designer Brunello Cucinelli among 12 other men and two women.

Except, the two women, who Buzzfeed News investigators identified as Lynn Jurich and Ruzwana Bashir, were not actually present when the seemingly innocent picture was taken, but were rather Photoshopped to make it look like they had been a part of the picture.

Look at the before and after of the picture below:

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The doctored image reportedly first appeared on Brunello's Instagram and then was later published in men's magazine, GQ, accompanying an article that explained the Silicone Valley bunch's trip to the small Italian village.

While I'd love to go into detail about that, I'll just stick to the issue at hand.

Why was there a need to Photoshop women into the company of a group of rich white men who are leaders of tech companies, which also form part of what is considered a highly male-dominated field?

After Buzzfeed exposed the publication as well as Brunello, his representatives offered the following explanation for this gross blunder;

“When we realised we didn't have a shot where all attendees were represented, we added in photos of two [women] CEOs taken during the weekend,” a spokesperson wrote to BuzzFeed News. 

READ MORE: Why aren't there more female CEO's?

“The photos were shared and approved with all the participants including the two women, Lynn Jurich and Ruzwana Bashir, before posting them on Instagram and they also shared the group photo on their own Instagram handles.

“We meant no harm or had any malicious intent in doing this and we are sorry,” they added.

According to Buzzfeed, GQ has since updated their article by removing the very questionable image, and Brunello removed the picture from his Instagram too.

While their apology seems sincere enough, one cannot help but question how far certain men are willing to go to make it seem as if there is some sort of diversity in high positions.

READ MORE: UCT has started a girls' club to attract more women to the well paying IT field

Another question that could be asked is; are two women - one of which is white - really the kind of diversity we're striving for now that women are finally, or rather, should be taking back the power?

Maybe the answer could be that people are not willing to address most of the issues women face anymore than they did before powerful movements such as #MeToo and #GirlsToTheFront became prominent. 

Now it seems as if they would rather pull wool over onlookers' eyes before taking women's voices seriously.

According to CNBC, as of 2018 there are only 24 women CEO's on the Fortune 500 list. The number has seen a 2.4 percent drop.

We have as much of a right to be frustrated, appalled and perhaps even angry as we do we the responsibility to keep on calling people out for their wrong-doings, while pushing for that equality we've been working for.

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