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Brotopia

Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley
Narrated by: Emily Chang
Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (426 ratings)

Regular price: $28.00

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Publisher's Summary

Instant National Bestseller

"Brotopia is more than a business book. Silicon Valley holds extraordinary power over our present lives as well as whatever utopia (or nightmare) might come next." --New York Times

Silicon Valley is a modern utopia where anyone can change the world. Unless you're a woman.

For women in tech, Silicon Valley is not a fantasy land of unicorns, virtual reality rainbows, and 3D-printed lollipops, where millions of dollars grow on trees. It's a "Brotopia," where men hold all the cards and make all the rules. Vastly outnumbered, women face toxic workplaces rife with discrimination and sexual harassment, where investors take meetings in hot tubs and network at sex parties.

In this powerful exposé, Bloomberg TV journalist Emily Chang reveals how Silicon Valley got so sexist despite its utopian ideals, why bro culture endures despite decades of companies claiming the moral high ground (Don't Be Evil! Connect the World!)--and how women are finally starting to speak out and fight back.

Drawing on her deep network of Silicon Valley insiders, Chang opens the boardroom doors of male-dominated venture capital firms like Kleiner Perkins, the subject of Ellen Pao's high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit, and Sequoia, where a partner once famously said they "won't lower their standards" just to hire women. Interviews with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, and former Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer--who got their start at Google, where just one in five engineers is a woman--reveal just how hard it is to crack the Silicon Ceiling. And Chang shows how women such as former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, entrepreneur Niniane Wang, and game developer Brianna Wu, have risked their careers and sometimes their lives to pave a way for other women.

Silicon Valley's aggressive, misogynistic, work-at-all costs culture has shut women out of the greatest wealth creation in the history of the world. It's time to break up the boys' club. Emily Chang shows us how to fix this toxic culture--to bring down Brotopia, once and for all.

©2018 Emily Chang (P)2018 Penguin Audio

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Insightful, Infuriating, and Important

Last year, Hidden Figures got me started on biography binge, devouring every book I could find on the accomplishments of trailblazing women in STEM. They left me inspired, empowered, and somewhat confused – how did the tech industry go from being built by the likes of Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper to the dire state of imbalance and discrimination that exists today? In Brotopia, Emily Chang answers that very question. She picks up where those stories left off, telling us exactly how women were systematically shut out a field that they helped create.

The book has been making waves for exposing some of Silicon Valley’s more salacious practices – think “optional” team bonding events and career-defining fundraising meetings set at strip clubs and in hot tubs. However, what really sets it apart are its revelations about the subtle and sometimes even unintentional forms of exclusion and intimidation. The little things - putting tech toys in the "boys' section" of the toy store until far too recently, universities choosing a provocative photo from Playboy as the standard rubric for whether or not students have built a successful image compression algorithm - these are the insights that make Brotopia the perfect read for a generation trying to change the norms that have necessitated the #MeToo movement.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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A Critical Read

This is a scary and sad story with a real possibility of hope..IF we take the situation seriously and make achievable changes. Reporting, contributing to, and writing this book took courage. We owe all who participated a debt of gratitude, and Emily Chang enormous credit for so clearly showing us how to save our future.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An industry-changing effort.

What did you love best about Brotopia?

Just finished "Brotopia", Emily Chang's much-anticipated study of the ingrown biases against women (and minorities) in Silicon Valley.

Working in tech (albeit in Seattle and on the sales end of the business) and raising two girls, I felt both pride for Chang's efforts and shame for the indifference with which I unkowingly embody the industry's biases against women.
Her tact was calculated and brilliant. While all of the write-ups on the book focus on the salacious details (and there are countless that make you ill), Chang begins with and continues to return to the fundamentals of a system that is inherently biased. Simple things like boys being targeted by toy companies selling entry-level computers goes so easily unnoticed, but if you hand a 3-year-old boy a simple computer and a 3-year-old girl a doll, who is more-likely to leave Stanford with a computer science degree 20 years later?

This is as important a book as has been written on the tech industry in years. You may love it. You may hate every word of it. But as tech becomes less about the technology and more about the user-experience, we cannot ignore 51% of the population.

The biases in the industry are no longer a problem for women, but a problem for us all.

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  • James
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 02-05-19

Gender studies plus anecdotes

Anecdotes are supposed to add color to research that would otherwise be boring. They are not supposed to be the research. The one useful thing this book did is expose some really crummy hiring practices that have gone on in Silicon Valley. And it seems unsurprising that a bunch of immature men left to their own devices would come up with really terrible HR practices. This is an important issue to discuss, although probably not news to anyone.

But the author's gender studies approach doesn't address any arguments that don't support her conclusion. If you already believe that women are treated unjustly and we need new laws and regulations to level the playing field, then you will enjoy how this book confirms your biases.

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Must read for diversity

It started off slow and negative, however it really became interesting later in and ended off really well with actionable ways to improve the status quo

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Timely and overdue

This book is my new required read. In many ways sad that this is the case, but I have a sense of optimism that measurable progress can be made.

Sometimes shocking, sadly enlightening (white guy that I am), and overall a valuable and important collection of stories.

Except I didn’t read it - I listened to it, and what a treat the audio version was - to hear and be infected by the passion and skill of the author, Valerie Wang.

Cheers,

Kelby Price

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Astonishing Look at Silicone Valley

As a person who works in health care in San Francisco, I was eager to learn more about those who earn their living in the technology field. This book did not disappoint. It should be read by every woman *and* man who either work or aspire to work within the many walls of technology. Many of us know that women had a harder time of it in technology, but the reasons were vague. This sets the out: how the barriers started and how and why they continue.
The author read her text fairly well.

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Enlightening

I had trouble getting through this book because of all I was learning about the subject. But there is hope.

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  • Valerie
  • Jacksonville, FL, United States
  • 04-18-19

“Brotopia” is one significant step for woman-kind, and American Business.

Emily, “Brotopia” is one of the most thoroughly researched and wonderfully written non-fiction books I’ve read—on any subject. I confess I decided to stop reading it at one point when I just did not want to hear any more about the Abuse of the Nerds. But a member of our “Now Read This” bookclub told me it does end with a prescription for change, so I persisted. You have made a contribution toward changing the world, Ma’am. This 74 year-old woman thanks you. See you on Bloomberg. Valerie Rubin

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A Must Read for All...

Especially founders, entrepreneurs, and every human with an aspirational drive to change what has brought us to this brutish moment.

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  • Rhiannon
  • 07-24-18

Listen in small doses, but definitely listen

I was drawn in to reading this novel by the shocking Vanity Fair article describing Silicon Valley's sex parties, but quickly discovered that Chang's work is much more than just a look at the underbelly of the tech world. Heavy at times on the ear due due to the heavy research, but in the same way, brilliantly detailed with facts and figures, allowing the reader enough fodder to springboard off into specific areas if they choose. Listen in small doses, but definitely listen.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-28-18

Current, and a must listen!

Highly listenable. Clear discussion on issues we all live (put up) with in tech and STEM fields.

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  • Di
  • 02-20-18

Highly recommended

It is a shameful ‘story’ and many in Silicon Valley should be hanging their heads in shame. The book is thoroughly researched, concise and well narrated. Highly recommended. It will give you a very different perspective on what seemingly passes for work in the Valley.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-13-18

simply awesome.

this was one of the most well researched books on silicon valley I have come across.

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  • Luke
  • 02-28-18

Great Read!

Well done Emily, its a game changing book. Well researched, written and narrated.

I was shocked, intrigued and disappointed at big tech and their failures and yet I remain hopeful that we can make a difference.