Jessica Powell became Google’s global vice president when she decided to step aside two years ago.
The news generated surprises and an incognito: Who decides to resign to a charge of those characteristics and to which thousands of people aspire?
The woman, who after her resignation had her third child, wrote a book and co-founded a new company, told the newspaper El Pais why she was away and marked four points that the search engine giant has not yet been able to answer.
“All these problems have not appeared suddenly and they have had to find solutions, they are problems that companies have always had, privacy for Facebook is a problem almost from the beginning, not from day one, but since 2008. They have never learned the lesson, why, because it has never impacted their number of users, “explained Powell before listing the problems that both Google and other large companies in Silicon Valley went through and did not solve.
The land of unique thought
For Powell, one of the problems is that it is always the same people who decide and design.
“The other day I took a Lyft, this happens to me many times, it was night and I came back home [in San Francisco], and the driver says to me: ‘You live here, do not you?’ He could have said to me: ‘Do you have boyfriend or husband?’ This is something my husband has never been asked, I remember that when Uber and Lyft started, especially Lyft, the driver was supposed to be your friend, they expected you to sit in front of me, and I and all my friends started saying: how am I going to sit next to a guy who can close the doors, who can touch me, I kept sitting back and the driver said to me, ‘You’re not nice’ and things like that. That’s the kind of experience that, if there were women involved in the creation of Uber or Lyft, it would have been anticipated”. The woman graffed and remarked:” It’s not about one group being better than another, it’s about different experiences”.
First the business, then the principles
For exGoogle, in the world of technology companies the problems are two: on the one hand is how to make money; on the other, how to avoid the problems that money brings. “You can not tell the advertisers that you can define each user for their smallest pixel and grab your head in front of politicians when you tell them that machines can not know if bad Internet users use your platform”, he said.
Redefine the values so as not to be the new Wall Street
For Powell what happens with Silicon Valley resembles what happened with the financial sector in the 80s. The difference is that the premise of those who come to California is, in addition to making money, “change the world”.
“All these companies must mature, they must become more professional, more responsible and they can maintain their values, but they can also end up as bad as the financial sector”, the woman said.
The revolution will come from the employees
One of the biggest fears of these companies is to become incapable of attracting the best profiles to join and grow the sector more. Even the claims of these employees when the course is twisted, can be the key.
“I have not seen marches like that at Goldman Sachs or anywhere else, not that I think employees are going to save these companies, but I think they are one of our greatest hopes”, Powell said.
Also published on Medium.