Photo via Lioness
On Tuesday, we reported that the co-founder and CEO of female sexual health company Lioness (creator of the world’s first smart vibrator) was asked to remove her product from a “women in tech” event co-hosted by Samsung.
Nearly a week later, the electronics giant told the Verge that it was wrong to ask the CEO of Lioness to do so. But Samsung’s medium-size apology left the team at Lioness anything but satisfied.
Here’s Liz Klinger’s statement
(This statement was lightly edited for length)
As far as I know, we haven’t received the apology either directly or through intermediaries. But the apology is almost besides the point.
[The statement] basically says they don’t intend to change anything and this is just intended to dismiss what occurred, which is disappointing.
Samsung, like many of the big tech companies and organizations, is a gatekeeper with enormous power to shape the landscape of who is included in the broader conversations — or not.
Based on this statement, it seems like they would still exclude these voices.
Despite their secondhand apology, if you take into account that they haven’t reached out to us (or the founder of FemTech Collective who invited us and spoke on their panel), does it seem likely we or any other company in female sexual wellness will ever be included in their events again? Or (not to be too cynical about it), did they simply learn to exclude/filter these companies ahead of time?
What we’d hope for isn’t anything huge, just a basic commitment of greater inclusion and concrete steps to achieve it.