A man has been named as a finalist for a ‘Women in Technology’ award in Australia, sparking confusion and outrage on social media.
Simon Button, a senior executive and digital leader in Australia, has been nominated for the ‘Inspiring Diversity in STEM category’ category along with three others, all women.
“This is the first time WiT has been offered an award that is open to all genders and it reflects how our community attitudes are changing,” said Women in Technology, an Australia-based association, in a Facebook post.
Mr Button is the current Group Chief Technology Officer at radiology specialist group Qscan.
The organization said it welcomed “the inclusion of our first male finalist” and look forward to seeing “more male leaders who support women being nominated in the future”.
The inclusion of a male leader, however, drew mixed reactions on social media.
“So you want to give the award to a man, in the category of WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY, because he supports women… in technology?” said one user.
“Lol is this a joke,” another asked.
Simon Button has been described as aa “digital leader who values all voices and champions diversity and equity in the organizations he leads” in the association’s website.
The other finalists in the category are Professor Amy Mullens, a psychologist with an interest in marginalized communities, Professor Kym Rae, a research fellow in indigenous health and pharmaceutical researcher Dr Jyoti Sharma.
The annual awards for women in technology and life sciences are held to ‘recognise outstanding talent and achievement and give women the recognition they deserve’.
This year’s award theme – ‘Writing the future’ – is a tribute to the outstanding contribution of women are making to help define, shape and grow Australia’s digital economy, said Iyari Cevallos, the association’s chair.
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