Business

Where are the women?

Before being fired from Yahoo, Bartz was the only female CEO of a top tech firm
Yahoo Chief Executive Carol Bartz speaks during an interview with Reuters in New York September 15, 2010. Bartz said that Alibaba Group "constantly" approaches the Internet search company about repurchasing its stake in the Chinese Internet firm, but that Yahoo has no plans to sell its shares. To match Reuters Exclusive YAHOO/ REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz (NEW YORK - Tags : - Tags: BUSINESS SCI TECH)
Where are the women?
Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Following her dismissal as Yahoo’s chief executive officer last week, Carol Bartz—who was unceremoniously fired over the phone—didn’t go quietly. Barely a day after she was sent packing, Bartz gave an interview to Fortune, calling the company directors “doofuses.” (She may have to pay for those remarks; her contract had a non-disparagement clause.) Even if Bartz wasn’t well-liked, some lamented her departure: now that she’s gone, there are no female CEOs left at major Silicon Valley firms.

Of course, it isn’t just the tech sector that suffers a dearth of women. Among Fortune 500 companies, women now hold just 2.8 per cent of CEO roles, according to Catalyst, a non-profit think tank. Bartz’s firing sparked debate over whether her treatment was sexist, with industry observers describing her as overly blunt and aggressive. Yahoo’s moribund shares rallied at her departure.