The Problem with Silicon Valley: It’s all about White Guys talking to White Guys about White Guys Problems, says Maelle Gavet
As the chief executive of Russia’s leading e-commerce company, Gavet’s opinion is to be reckoned with. She said, while California has a better weather compared to Moscow, she had a bone to pick with Silicon Valley.
“At some point the problem with Silicon Valley is that everybody lives in bubble, with white guys talking to white guys about white guys problems… That’s great, but you miss a lot of things around you.” – Gavet told an auditorium packed with people at the end of the two-day Web Summit.
Gavet said this during a group discussion with other four men; the group was interacting at a podium as speaker at the Web Summit before an auditorium filled with people. A fellow male-speaker, Noam Bardin, chief executive of Waze, was quick to ask Gavet if most of her company’s employees were white men talking to each other.
Gavet replied, “We’ve 40% women in our company.” The people inside the auditorium responded to her answer with applause. Gavet was among the 15% of women who attended the event as speakers.
It is said that Ozon’s revenue grew by 84% in 2011, under Gavet’s stewardship with sales reaching $300m. At the age of 34, she has already featured in Forbes’s Women to Watch, Fortune’s 40 Under 40 and Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business.
Gavet also pointed out that Amazon is not borrowing ideas from Ozon’s book.
“When we see headlines about Amazon opening centers in New York, testing lockers, we have been doing it for years. So they are copying us.” – Gavet said.