Dell Hires Misogynist Moderator for Dell Denmark Conference, Unapologetic

Christiane Vejlø was invited to a Dell conference in Denmark where the CEO of Dell, Michael Dell, would be present. Few women were present, but things first started to get really weird, when the moderator steps up:

Dell’s moderator continues talking about his two Rolex watches and he then presents the next speaker from Intel. After the break Mads Christensen shares with us his whole “show” about the bitchy women who want to steal the power in politics, boards and the home. “Science” he calls it and mentions that all the great inventions come from men. “We can thank women for the rolling pin,” he adds. And then the moderator of the day finishes of by asking all (men) in the room to promise him that they will go home and say, “shut up bitch!”.

I turn pale. Not because I am personally offended. I know Mads Christensen and what he stands for and I don’t usually pay much attention to what he says. I am pale because I am in a state of chock realizing that a large professional company as Dell will conciously hire someone with the well known agenda Mads Christensen has.

Long story short, a minor Twitter argy bargy ensues—with little to no international coverage—and the CEO of Dell Denmark responds:

We are so sorry for what happened. I would like to apologize, if anyone was offended by what was said, CEO Nicolai Moresco from Dell Denmark told Version2.

Did you get that? “if anyone was offended”. Also known as a non-apology apology. Dell can’t see why what was said is a problem. One of the larger corporations in the world can’t see what is wrong with misogynist statements at an almost-all-male conference for a computer company.

Frankly, I don’t know whether the incompetence or obsolete view of women is the most staggering part of this. Dell itself is becoming obsolete, and I might just contribute to that decline by never buying their products again.

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Update: Only after international media caught wind of this, is Dell apologizing in a less weasel-y way:

During a Dell-hosted customer and partner summit in Copenhagen in April, well-known public speaker and moderator, Mads Christensen, made a number of inappropriate and insensitive remarks about women. Dell sincerely apologizes for these comments. As members of our Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) know, Dell is an enthusiastic and committed advocate of women in business and IT. These comments do not reflect Dell’s company values and undermine much of the work we’ve done in support of women in the workplace overall.

Work done at the behest of federal court?


It’s probably not the brightest idea to post an apology (insert airquotes at your own volition) on Google+. Doing so also allows people to comment visibly, as Karen Lopez did with this lovely rebuke:

For those of you not getting it…no one really cares that some one person has an agenda for hating women at work. What we care about is that a vendor hired him knowing that, laughed along with him, then waited until the shit hit the fan to first to a “sorry you were offended” apology, then finally a real one. On G+.

No one gives two shits about Mads Christensen. The matter at hand is that a Dell conference in Denmark that featured the presence of the highest-ranking person at Dell, CEO Michael Dell, where a person whose shtick is known to most Danes was hired to piss off the male territory.

Dell shouldn’t apologize on Christensen’s behalf; they should apologize on their own behalf for hiring him and failing to see how his position as moderator was wrong to the degree of offensive. Because Dell flubbed it with the initial non-apology apology, they also have to apologize for failing to see what the original outrage was about, and why it was completely justified.