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Behind the Scenes of `Brotopia’: Fully Charged

When I decided to write a book about women and Silicon Valley, everyone thought I was crazy. Heck, even I thought I was crazy. Talking about sexism is a minefield, and I had an incredibly rewarding job, two sons and was pregnant with my third. After I started, my oldest asked me sometimes why I had to take time out on weekends. I told him, and told myself time and again when things got really hard, that I needed to write this book because it matters. The exclusion of women from the most powerful industry matters, not just to job seekers but to all of us.

For the first few months, it was slow going. This was in the aftermath of the Ellen Pao trial in 2015 but well before President Trump got elected and Susan Fowler had the courage to write about sexual harassment at Uber. I started talking to women and men about their experiences. I asked everyone I came across in my daily reporting, guests on my TV show Bloomberg Technology and industry folks I ran into. I met a particular group of women over and over again – we had coffee, dinner, late-night phone calls and sent lots of texts. Often, I’d connect them to each other so they could share their stories with peers, even if they weren’t quite ready to share publicly. Slowly my sources started to trust me.