Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

I'll keep an open mind about the company for now, because I've not found their side of the story (this occurred a few weeks ago), but Michael Dell should personally and sincerely apologize for his company. This doesn't match at all what I have long understood to be their internal culture.

That's my feeling too. It's plausible that Dell outsourced the entertainment to a local Danish agency of some sort, and that to Dell it just looked like "Mads something, some Danish comedian". Although Mads Christensen is vaguely notorious in Denmark (for multiple things), afaict this is the first incident that actually made the English-language media, so you'd have to read Danish (or ask someone) to know who he was previously. Though whoever in Denmark recommended/booked him certainly knew who they were booking. Possibly Dell should've exercised a bit more control over the program. Definitely should've reacted more emphatically, though it's not too late to say something now.

Although Michael Dell is ultimately responsible, I think the blame here lies squarely with Dell's Danish office.

Dealing with cultural differences is a minefield for multinationals. To take an extreme example - imagine running a similar event in Kyrgyzstan, where the rural population has a charming tradition of kidnapping teenage girls and forcing them into marriage. Reckon a local MC there would be a pillar of progressive commentary?

One reason that Dell has regional offices is precisely to avoid offending the local population. If the Danish CEO said “To stay within code of conduct I don’t want to comment on what you just said. But you did a good job” then he should be harshly sanctioned and possibly fired. If he isn't called to account, well that is Michael Dell's responsibility.

If this is true, how were people not walking out?

“The IT business is one of the last frontiers that manages to keep women out. The quota of women to men in your business is sound and healthy” he says. “What are you actually doing here?” he adds to the few women who are actually present in the room.

Are you kidding me?

Honestly to me that sounds like a sarcastic joke. Surely he can't be serious. Regardless, that kind of "comedy" is wholly inappropriate for a corporate event.

The fact that nearly everyone there was an employee might have something to do with it.

In the danish version of the article (http://elektronista.dk/socialt/dress-code-blat-slips-og-mand...) there are some comments from people from Dell who was present. Most of them disparage the journalist for not getting the joke, and several finish with a witty "Shut up bitch" (the journalist is a woman), echoing what MC said in the show.

Several commenters underline that it was only comedy and not intended to be taken seriously - and noting that it is typical for women not to be able to take a joke and overreact and play the victim and wanting special treatment.

So I don't know if Dell have a culture of misogyny, but they clearly have their share of stupidity.

I'll keep an open mind about the company for now

Seems like a sound approach. The whole thing was a surreal read; something has got to be afoot.

Part of that might be a bad translation.

I read the Danish version -- it did not provide any substantial new information, so I doubt it was the bad translation, (I am a native Dane, so I would properly have spottet it if this was supposed to be a joke).

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact