Yahoo apologized for bringing scantily clad dancers onstage at its most recent Hack Day in Taiwan over the weekend.
As many folks have rightly pointed out, the “Hack Girls” aspect of our Taiwan Hack Day is not reflective of that spirit or purpose. And it’s certainly not the message we want to send about our values here at Yahoo!. Hack Days are about making everyone feel welcome, including women coders and technologists.
Hack Days, where developers race to create web applications in less than 24 hours using Yahoo’s APIs or other open-source libraries, started internally within Yahoo back in 2005. The first public Hack Day was actually won by a team of all women in 2006 for a project that automatically blogged photos taken with a camera.
The decision to bring dancers was roundly criticized by observers including Flickr! co-founder Caterina Fake. “For shame. I’m frankly disgusted,” she tweeted. (Flickr was bought by Yahoo in 2005, the same year the Hack Days started.)