Google had more female presenters at this year’s Pixel event – CNET

If you watched Google’s Pixel 2 event, you may have noticed something other than just the launch of several new gadgets: the presence of more female presenters.

Four, to be exact.

That’s not to say the bar was set particularly high in previous years — at last year’s Pixel event, there were two female presenters — but it signals that Google is starting to “walk the walk” when it comes to boosting representation of women. At this year’s Google I/O, there were also four female presenters, up one from 2015 and 2016, and double the number from 2013 and 2014.

There were six male presenters at Wednesday’s Pixel event.

Isabelle Olsson, Google's lead designer for home hardware, was one of four women presenters at Google's Pixel event on Wednesday.

Isabelle Olsson, Google’s lead designer for home hardware, was one of four women presenters at Google’s Pixel event on Wednesday.   

Stephen Shankland

Earlier this year, Google was embroiled in controversy after former company engineer James Damore wrote a manifesto arguing that women are underrepresented in tech because of “biological causes” rather than bias and discrimination. Silicon Valley companies, largely dominated by white men, have long grappled with the issue of diversity. Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was ousted in June following an internal investigation of sexual harassment allegations, and in July, venture capitalists including Dave McClure of 500 Startups admitted to behaving inappropriately toward women.  

The presenters at Wednesday’s Pixel event included Isabelle Olsson, lead designer for home hardware; Sabrina Ellis, senior director of product management; Aparna Chennapragada, product director; and Nest CTO Yoky Matsuoka.

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