I don’t often rant on this blog, but this one’s got me in a lather. Dell has created a new web site especially for women, because we’ve obviously never heard of computers before. “Della,” as it’s called, shows us ladies how we can use color-coordinated computers to check the weather, generate our grocery lists, and stay up on the latest fashion news. This advertising is more 1950s than 21st century.
I have news for you, Dell. I am a woman in technology and have been for twenty years. Not only do I not use my computer to organize my recipes, I actually *gasp* know how to configure thingamajigs like firewalls and servers, and I don’t even have to ask my husband or some other man how to do it. In fact, since I’m a computer consultant… the men ask me!
Advertisements like this perpetuate the stereotype that computers are too hard, too technical, or too masculine for the fairer sex. I am reminded of the Simpsons’ equivalent of Barbie saying “Math is hard!” Women are as capable of working in the technology fields as men. Some say more so, because women tend to have better people skills which equates to better and more compassionate customer service. “Della” is not the example we want for today’s young women considering careers in technology.
I might also note that there are plenty of women in business who make purchasing decisions for their companies. I doubt this will encourage them to buy Dell. As for myself, I can’t say I’ll be recommending Dell computers to my clients anytime soon.