The gap between men and women in tech is a touchy subject that’s been around for a bit. A new documentary, CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap tackles the question head on, examining just why women are often left out in the cold in today’s hottest fields.
GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving is one of the film’s executive producers. Since he joined GoDaddy in 2013, he has been attempting to repair the company’s, um, less than stellar history when it comes to women and diversity in the workplace.
Fortune reported last week upon the doc news: “But based on how many newsreports on the IPO referenced the company’s infamous ad campaigns, he still has a way to go. Starting in 2005, GoDaddy ran a series of racy Super Bowl commercials featuring women such as race car driver Danica Patrick and supermodel Bar Rafaeli — usually in some state of undress. The ads infuriated some consumers and gave rise to Breakupwithgodaddy.com, a movement to boycott the company.”
In April 2013, shortly after he took the GoDaddy job, Irving, a former Microsoft executive, told GeekWire that changing the tone and style of the company’s ad campaigns was in the cards:
“We’re still going to be edgy, we’re still going to be polarizing and funny, but people will know what we’re doing and who we’re doing it for,” he said, citing the large number of small businesses owned by women as customers to consider. “We need to be pretty inclusive when we’re being edgy. When you start understanding your customer base, and you’re not just about getting attention, you have to be more thoughtful.”
A press release from GoDaddy announcing Irving’s involvement in the film states that only 18 percent of GoDaddy’s workforce are women, but it continues to recruit women “with an eye on both new hires and its engineering internship program, and will also provide employees with ‘unconscious bias training’ from the acclaimed Clayman Institute this year.”
The company also partners with the Anita Borg Institute, a nonprofit that helps women advance in tech, and has invested in the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, the world’s largest gathering of women in tech.
“In his two-plus years as CEO, Blake’s devotion to supporting women in tech has led to a complete turn-around at GoDaddy – he’s helped create a women’s technology organization inside GoDaddy and committed to hiring more women in the tech ranks,” said the film’s director/producer Robin Hauser Reynolds in the statement. “We applaud Blake’s efforts to make GoDaddy a safe and inviting workplace for women. Hopefully, Blake’s actions will set a trend in the tech industry.”
The film will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 19 in New York.
Enjoy the trailer below: