Silicon Valley hasn’t always been bro central—women pioneered tech too

The heart of America’s multi-trillion tech industry has occasionally seemed like Ground Zero when it comes to (mis)treatment of women. There were the shenanigans at Uber that forced out its hard charging CEO and allegations of harassment made against top venture capitalists; even seemingly innocuous TripAdvisor has come under fire for censoring reviews by survivors of sexual assault.

In this climate comes “Troublemakers,” a history of Silicon Valley in the 1970s from Stanford University historian Leslie Berlin. Out Tuesday, the book tells the story of seven individuals who embodied the Valley’s ethos when the likes of Apple and Microsoft were in their infancy. Among them are two women: Sandra Kurtzig, the first female to take a tech company public, and Fawn Alvarez, who went from factory worker to chief of staff at a ROLM, once a major telecoms company. “Women have been here pioneering alongside men all along,” Berlin tells Moneyish. “Women have had to be as good, while also contending with a lot of issues that men didn’t need to.”


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