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By Caroline Fairchild
Dear Kate, an underwear company that specializes in “leak-free lingerie,” made headlines last week for a controversial ad campaign that some say perpetuates sexism in Silicon Valley. Rather than use professional models to showcase the company’s newest product line, Dear Kate featured female tech executives wearing nothing but their underwear. In an interview with Fortune, company founder Julie Sygiel said the move was intended to empower women in tech and bring awareness to the many women who are working in the field.
How did you come up with the idea for the campaign?
We started last November featuring women in our campaigns who we admire because of who they are and what they do, not because of what they look like. I like to look at our [campaigns] as a platform to showcase women we admire. We like to show women in our [campaigns] actually doing things, not just standing there and looking sexy.
Why use female tech founders in this campaign specifically?
When I was young and starting the business, I didn’t know a lot of women who were starting businesses and that was a challenge for me. It’s hard to see yourself succeeding if you don’t see people like you doing that. The thought behind the campaign was to bring attention to the fact that there are women in tech and they are killing it. We wanted to highlight the fact that they are there because, to some degree, the media doesn’t often feature women in tech.
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