The First Women in Tech Didn’t Leave—Men Pushed Them Out

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As sexual harassment scandals make waves across politics, media and entertainment, the technology industry is grappling with its own sexism problem. Female entrepreneurs and VC partners speak about sexism in Silicon Valley and share their ideas for solving it. Photo/Video: Emily Prapuolenis/The Wall Street Journal

Sexism in the tech industry is as old as the tech industry itself.

Memos from the United Kingdom’s government archives reveal that, in 1959, an unnamed British female computer programmer was given an assignment to train two men. The memos said the woman had “a good brain and a special flair” for working with computers. Nevertheless, a year later the men became her managers. Since she was a different class of government worker, she had no chance of ever rising to their pay grade.