Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Business
Pursuits

Tech Startup Founder Says Women Are Like Men, Only Cheaper

Thornley
ThornleyPhotograph by NIR/Landov

At a Sydney technology startup conference, Evan Thornley, an Australian multimillionaire and co-founder of online advertising company LookSmart, gave a talk about why he likes to hire women. “The Australian labor market and world labor market just consistently and amazingly undervalues women in so many roles, particularly in our industry,” he said. When LookSmart went public on Nasdaq in 1999, he said, it was one of the few tech companies that had more women than men on its senior management team. “Call me opportunistic; I thought I could get better people with less competition because we were willing to understand the skills and capabilities that many of these woman had,” Thornley said.

Wow, how insightful! Not only has someone in the tech industry openly admitted to a pay discrepancy, but he’s framed it in a way that might help companies see the value in hiring more women and close—or at least narrow—the gender gap.