So let’s say you’re a group of undergraduate women running a conference designed to “promote female representation in technical fields and create a community among women in technology.” That is a good thing! Be proud, stand tall. But it is a dumb thing to ask one of your sponsors to provide lady-themed swag. Also, too, it is a dumb thing for the sponsor, Goldman Sachs, to acquiesce to this request and provide Things You Think Ladies Like.
The conference, Women Engineers Code, or WECode, which was organized by an undergraduate student group at Harvard, featured stacks of cosmetic mirrors with the Goldman Sachs logo, a photograph posted to Instagram shows. The Instagram user also said that the bank brought nail files to the event.
Ladies just can’t stop checking their makeup or doing their nails, amirite guys??
Look, the problem here isn’t just that Goldman Sachs came up with the crappy bullshit reductionist sexist idea of makeup + nails = happy ladies. The problem here isn’t just that conference organizers of a women in tech event encouraged their sponsors to provide lady gifts. Also, we cut the organizers some slack because they are undergraduates, and we were not organizing conferences when we were undergraduates because we were high as fuck and organization was not our strong suit. But we digress. The real problem here is that we even think of something as lady-themed swag. What is dude swag? Can you think of anything? Things specifically related to having a dick don’t count, as that is the sort of thing that rarely makes its way into a swag bag. and we’re willing to bet hard cold cash that there aren’t many razors or beard trimmers that show up in non-lady-focused tech events, because we don’t perceive that dudes are so vain that even when coming to a conference on how to code, they’ll be thinking about how to touch up their beard mid-event.
But let’s talk about the real elephant in the room. This is some seriously low-rent swag, people. Nail files? Cosmetic mirrors? What do those things run, about $10 per 100, tops? You’re GOLDMAN FUCKING SACHS and you made approximately eleventy billion dollars last week and you’re sponsoring an event at HARVARD and you couldn’t spring for, say, a nice leather folio with some discreet branding? Jesus Christ.
Compared to Goldman Sachs, the conference-branded socks that Google churned out
…were positively classy and expensive by comparison. Do better, Goldman Sachs, Do better, undergraduates at Harvard. You are all rich and privileged and smart and rich and rich people. Surely you can come up with better ideas, or hire someone that can. Good lord.