TECH

Twitter Is Sorry For Throwing 'Frat' Party

Few things visualize the tech industry's gender diversity problem better than a giant "TWITTER FRAT HOUSE" banner hanging in the office.

Few things embody the tech industry's gender diversity problem better than a giant "TWITTER FRAT HOUSE" banner hanging in the office.

The photo apparently taken before the planned party also shows a keg of beer sitting on the floor while a table with the Twitter bird logo has red plastic cups arranged for games of beer pong. 

After an image of the setup of the bash at Twitter's headquarters was revealed by the pro-diversity organization Global Tech Women on Tuesday, the San Francisco-based company swiftly apologized.

"This social event organized by one team was in poor taste at best, and not reflective of the culture we are building here at Twitter," a company spokesperson told HuffPost in a statement. "We've had discussions internally with the organizing team, and they recognize that this theme was ill-chosen."

Twitter's gender disparity problem goes beyond throwing the occasional kegger. According to employment statistics the tech giant released one year ago, men make up 70 percent of its overall staff. In leadership positions, men claim 79 percent of the roles, and a whopping 90 percent of employees in tech positions are men. Those numbers are only slightly worse than those of Facebook, Yahoo, Google and LinkedIn, Mother Jones reported. 

"We are keenly aware that Twitter is part of an industry that is marked by dramatic imbalances in diversity — and we are no exception," Twitter vice president of diversity and inclusion Janet Van Huysse wrote with the release of those numbers last year, detailing the company's commitment to partnering with groups such as Girls Who Code and sf.girls that are dedicated to including more females in tech. 

The company is also grappling with a gender discrimination lawsuit filed in March by former employee Tina Huang, who alleges that Twitter's promotion process favored men when she worked there from 2009 to 2014. 

Twitter isn't the first tech company to reveal a problematic "brogrammer" culture through a regretful party theme. In 2013, the tech incubator Hacker Hideout took the cake with sexist event themes when they hosted a "Hookers and Hackers" party.

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