AUSTIN, Texas (CBS SF) – Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt was called out for his behavior on a talk about diversity and tech at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, after repeatedly interrupting the only woman on the panel.
According to an account in the Wall Street Journal, Schmidt was part of a panel called “How Innovation Happens,” which included the Chief Technology Officer of the United States Megan Smith and author Walter Isaacson.
The Journal said Schmidt had so much to say about the lack of racial and gender diversity in the technology that he often interrupted and spoke over Smith.
Near the end of the session, a questioner from the audience called out Schmidt’s tendency to talk over Smith and was met with applause from the audience.
Attendees at the conference posted on Twitter that the questioner was Judith Williams, Google’s manager of global diversity and talent programs. Williams leads workshops on unconscious bias for people at the company.
Lack of workforce diversity has become a hot topic among all Silicon Valley companies, including Google. An analysis of Google’s own workforce last year found 70 percent of total workers are male and 60 percent are white. Among Google employees working in the “tech” sector, 83 percent are male.