According to a Google exec, the Volkswagen emissions scandal could have been avoided or at least mitigated if there were more female engineers working for Volkswagen.
Managing Director and VP Sales & Operations for Google UK and Ireland Eileen Naughton was speaking at the Geena Davis Institute’s symposium on Gender in Media in London when she made the comments.
Here’s what she said, according to the Telegraph:
“Imagine a woman engineer actually knowingly and willingly tricking that technology, when she might be thinking of the allergens put into the environment and the eyes of the child that might get irritated by 40 times the legal output of diesel – particularly when it’s not allowable by law.”
“We look at systems like that that go awry and realize 85 percent of that population [of engineers] is male. There’s evolutionary biology that suggests there are [certain male] behaviors and that when you have more equal representation of women in work groups, you mitigate those behaviors and get better outcomes – better outcomes for the climate, better outcomes for the work group.”
The scandal that rocked the auto industry saw Volkswagen admit to fitting its diesel vehicles with software so they could beat emissions tests.
The software, known as a ‘defeat device’, allowed the cars to beat lab tests, but it was revealed that the cars emitted 40 times what they tested at when driving around in the wild.
The scandal caused Volkswagen’s stock price to plummet and the company’s CEO Martin Winterkorn was forced to resign. Volkswagen has publicly announced plans to spend at least $7.3 billion on fixing the emissions issues, and the company’s U.S. CEO Michael Horn was recently grilled by Congress about said plans.
The scandal recently claimed its fifth executive, as the company suspended its top quality-control executive on Tuesday.
Apparently, this hasn’t really harmed the company’s reputation in its home country of Germany.
So, what do you think? More women, less tomfoolery? Did Volkswagen pull one over on regulators because there were no women around to make the no pollution in kids’ eyes argument?
Image via Volkswagen