It's long been known that Apple CEO Steve Jobs fathered a daughter, Lisa, out of wedlock, and did not acknowledge her until later in life. (Apple's ill-fated Lisa is apocryphally said to be named after her.) Now, Lisa Brennan-Jobs is an accomplished magazine writer. Her latest assignment: a story in February's Vogue. But my eyes stopped on the magazine's contributors page, which featured a striking photo of Brennan-Jobs. She is the very image of her father.
Seeing the picture, seeing Jobs's face on his daughter, got me thinking. In what other ways are they similar? Did Brennan-Jobs inherit Steve's brilliance, his charisma, his infamous temper? Would she be as suited to the job of running Apple as her father? Would the male-dominated technology industry accept her?
This is not so much a question about Brennan-Jobs — though it's an intriguing thought to imagine her delivering a Macworld keynote. No, it's about the still-rampant sexism in tech. What if Steve had been a girl? Would he have been able to start Apple, raise venture capital, take the company public? Women CEOs are still few and far between; with eBay CEO Meg Whitman's retirement, replaced by a man, we have one fewer. That's a movement in the wrong direction.