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Newsweek's cover: Tech industry commentary or sexism?

Newsweek is facing criticism over its cover on what Silicon Valley thinks of women
Newsweek criticized over cover on Silicon Valley, women 03:17

Newsweek's latest cover is supposed to illustrate the barriers that women face in the tech industry, but critics are saying it is instead perpetuating the sexism it references.

The cover says "What Silicon Valley Thinks of Women" next to an image of a woman looking back at the arrow of a mouse as it lifts up her short skirt.

The article highlights many facts related to the issues of women in tech. For example, less than 3 percent of companies funded by venture capitalists from 2011-2013 have women CEOs, and female-run startups have a 31 percent higher return on investment. The implication is it's not a matter of aptitude but a flawed system that does not foster growth for women.

As Liz Plank, the senor editor of explains to CBSN, it is not a pipeline issue, but the fact that women are not given access to the same level of mentoring, promotion or funding as men.

"The problem is there are all of these barriers stopping them," Plank said. "Fifty-seven percent of women who actually enter the industry end up leaving because of the macho culture, and because of instances of sexual harassment."

The article discusses many aspects of this so-called "macho culture" such as inappropriate images and comments, and treating work-related interactions (such as seeking funding) like a date.

For many, the cover is too similar to the culture it is meant to critique. But perhaps the controversy over the cover is achieving its goal of starting a conversation.

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