Welcome to Glassy
A lens—not a ceiling
What is Glassy?
Glassy is your weekly study of barriers and breakthroughs in technology through a gender lens. We explore the concrete solutions, wide-open market opportunities, and new voices working to solve the gaps in pay, leadership, and respect that continue to plague the tech industry. Glassy helps you see clearly. Because it's complicated.
Glassy is written by me, Taylor Majewski. I’m a journalist who has covered things like Silicon Valley’s #MeToo moment, the gender divide in death tech, how old products get rebranded for the internet, and the adoption of gender-neutral UX systems at big companies like Bumble, Tinder, ZocDoc and Lyft. I’m also the founder of Lemon Lab, a site that brings together deep reporting and community reviews to surface quality health and technology products.
Glassy is not a series of op-eds, but a study of the many gender and sex inequities in tech, how different people experience these gaps, and how individuals, companies, and organizations are building better systems.
What does all this look like on the ground and who are the people making it happen? Glassy is written for an audience that understands that these systems are complex. If you are a builder—of products or companies—Glassy is for you. If your work is related to internet culture (or want it to be!), Glassy is also for you. If you are looking for ways to invest in healthier, responsible technology for all, this is the place to find inspiration.
In its first few months, Glassy will cover stories on:
- The people trying to make the internet safer for women.
- How online communities are changing with the rise of a more inclusive generation of creators.
- The impacts of gender discrimination lawsuits in big tech and feeling the trail go cold.
- The people trying to bring inclusive data into product design, as builders of a wide variety of products and services routinely rely on data from the “reference man” (white men, age 25 to 30, who are around 150 pounds).
- How social networks, journalists, and activists will reduce the spread of misinformation when it comes to health for women, trans people, and non-binary people.
It’s clear that no silver bullet will solve systemic gaps in tech, which is why Glassy is excited by the potential of broad, structural industry shifts. This includes things like more women and non-binary people starting their own companies. It also includes changing the incentives of venture capital, such as LPs pushing for more inclusive investment approaches. These changes could extend to government regulation, such as a bill that provides pregnant women with clear protections at work or more states following California’s lead by mandating corporate board diversity.
Who am I?
I became interested in looking at technology through a gender lens based on my own experiences working for tech companies (Product Hunt) and media organizations who cover tech (The Information). Tech companies wax poetic about diversity efforts, but even their own highly publicized reports show little progress in the last half decade. Sexist workplace cultures still pervade the interview process. Researchers focusing on AI ethics are stifled for critiquing their employers. And female-founding teams and mixed-gender founding teams are receiving less venture capital year over year. As I became more and more aware of these discrepancies, I wanted to turn this industry inside out.
I more recently founded Lemon Lab in response to my own health being commodified as a woman. Bodies are big business—the global wellness economy represents a $4.5 trillion market. More staggering numbers: the physical activity sector will surpass $1.1 trillion by 2023, mental wellness is a $121 billion market and personal care makes up a $1 billion sector. It’s also worth noting that dietary supplements—a mainstay in modern wellness—is a $30 billion industry.
I am a cis woman in America, which means I’ve been told that everything from CBD tampons to natural deodorant to expensive at-home lab tests to vitamins “for women” will fix my body and calm my fears. But beyond the illusory promise of D.I.Y. medicine, it’s still difficult to find actual solutions to my actual health concerns, the result of biomedical research continuously leaving out women and pseudoscientific products capitalizing on the subsequent research gap through streams of misinformation. As an operator, I’m hyper-aware of the same wearying story: Women’s health startups prioritize growth over safety. Healthtech products target everyone in their marketing while forgetting to factor half of the population’s biology into their products. Pseudoscientific ads for “alternative cancer care” are just fine on social media. Corner cutting and misinformation should not be the model when it comes to the health of women and non-binary people, and my goal is to report on these problems with impact.
How to get in touch:
Glassy will come out 4 times per month (weekly-ish). Paid subscribers will get access to interviews I have with experts in this space, where there will be concrete takeaways and recommendations for your work life.
To get in touch with Glassy, email me here or send me a DM on Twitter. I want to hear your unique perspectives, suggestions for stories, relevant research, or anything else you think is underreported or needs to be uncovered.