Tell Young Women to Be the Nerd, Not Date the Nerd, Says Facebook CEO

By Liana Loewus — January 04, 2016 1 min read
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Facebook commenters are praising Mark Zuckerberg for his punchy comeback to a woman’s post about the advice she gives to her granddaughters.

Darlene Hackemer Loretto responded to Zuckerberg’s New Year’s status update saying she keeps telling her granddaughters to “date the nerd in school, he may turn out to be a Mark Zuckerberg!”

The co-founder and chief executive officer of Facebook wrote back: “Even better would be to encourage them to *be* the nerd in their school so they can be the next successful inventor!”

Buzzfeed picked up on the string, and Loretto has since responded that she encourages her granddaughters to do well themselves, too. “I’ve done everything in my life MYSELF, my children’s dad died at a very young age and I did it all. Starting 2 businesses. I said it once to them in jest and NEVER did I think anyone would even see this, let alone get the attention it has gotten.”

The tech industry has long had a gender diversity problem. Facebook released employee demographics this year showing that 84 percent of its tech workers are men—a statistic the company says it’s working to change.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.