On a Scale From 1 to 10, Silicon Valley Sexism Is a 7

Ten is the worst.

Ellen Pao lost a high-profile discrimination lawsuit against venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers. (Robert Galbraith / Reuters / Zak Bickel / The Atlantic)

Hearing from the leaders of the tech world is always revealing, and very often surprising. In our second annual Silicon Valley Insiders Poll, a panel of 101 executives, innovators, and thinkers weigh in on some of the biggest technological, political, and cultural questions of the moment.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being not-so-horrible and 10 being wretched, the sexism problem in Silicon Valley clocks in just under 7. That’s according to the entrepreneurs, thinkers, and executives we polled. (Though about one-fifth of those surveyed didn't want to touch this one; only 80 people opted to answer the question.)

Four people said sexism is as bad as it can be, ranking the problem as a 10. Only one person ranked it at a 1. Ten people were split down the middle, calling the problem a 5. But the two most popular responses were 7 and 8—each receiving 20 votes apiece.

But, when accounting for the fact that more men participated in the poll than women, men and women assessed the sexism problem in Silicon Valley similarly. If you look at just the women’s responses, they average out to about 6.5. The men by themselves called it a 6.6.