(Bloomberg News) -- There’s a scene in Code: Debugging the Gender Gap in which two twentysomething male software designers present their satirical app to hundreds of developers at a 2013 hackathon sponsored by the website TechCrunch. “Titstare is an app where you take photos of yourself staring at tits,” announces David Boulton, one of the designers. He says this is fun because, while men enjoy staring at breasts, “women just aren’t that warm to it.” As he talks, a cartoon of a woman slapping a man flashes on the screen behind him. Some bros cheer.
That response is hardly surprising; it’s predictable by now to point out the tech world’s antiwoman bias, especially after books like Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In and court cases including Ellen Pao’s. There are many nonprofits trying to fix this. The biggest is Girls Who Code, a three-year-old program that teaches tech skills to girls. But Code, which played at the Tribeca Film Festival in April and is making the festival rounds before being distributed next year, is the first feature film to expose the issue. Director Robin Hauser Reynolds, founder of documentary studio Finish Line Features, goes about it like an activist. She first raised $86,000 on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, then convinced Capital One, Citigroup, and other corporations to donate to her cause.
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