Booth Babes Maintain Gender Divide At Tech Fair - VIDEO
CES might display the latest in technology innovations, but the world's largest gadget conference maintains gender stereotypes that are far outdated.
Booth babes, or scantily clad young women, still work the technology stands despite industry efforts being made to level the gender divide in the male-dominated industry.
The attractive young women demonstrate products at many trade stands, and enduring pick up lines from the mainly male trade audience, as you can hear in the video above.
The "booth babes" wear significantly less clothing than the trade audience, and play a markedly less senior role than the majority male keynote speakers.
According to one tech writer interviewed, they "broadcast a loud and inaccurate image of the technology industry is when it comes to being a woman."
The objections were not limited to female attendants. Andrew Brockhouse, owner of EagleEye IT said "Personally, it's not effective. You see one (booth babe) and I think 'that's a sleezy company I don't want to be associated with'."
Ambivalence towards the anachronistic booth workers seems to come from the top of CES.
Gary Shapiro, CEO of CES told the reporter who compiled this video "people naturally want to go towards what they consider pretty. So your effort to get a story out of booth babes which is decreasing rather rapidly in this industry is frankly irrelevant in my view."
While the number of women in tech is rising, the industry remains male-dominated, as does the crowd at the CES trade show.
Marissa Mayer from Google on women in tech, told CNET during the event that "right now is a great time to be a woman in tech, but there's not enough women in tech."
One of the panel sessions at the event focussed on how to recruit more women to the field.
CNET executive editor Molly Wood joined Lindsey Turrentine, editor-in-chief of CNET Reviews, Marissa Mayer, Google Vice President, Catarina Fake, Flickr founder and Padmasree Warrior Cisco Systems Chief Technology Officer to discuss how to mentor young women in the industry.
Watch highlights of this session in the video below:
No word yet on whether there's a correlation between how good a product is and the amount of flesh a booth babe has to display to peddle the thing.