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September 19, 2017

CEO of Philly startup pushes back against sexist reply on LinkedIn

Women In Tech Social Media
091917_AmberWanner Source/CandiDate

Amber Wanner, founder and CEO of CandiDate.

Amber Wanner, the founder of Philly-based tech-recruiting startup CandiDate, measured her words before responding forcefully to a sexist message she received from a local developer on LinkedIn.

The 26-year-old Villanova University grad has been at the helm of the recruiting-dating website for the past three years, placing candidates at local tech firms and then finding them relationships. She told Entrepreneur that her platform works with about 80 tech companies in and around Philadelphia and has thousands of candidates in its database.

Last month, Wanner was looking to fill a position for an Android developer and reached out to a potential candidate whose public profile on LinkedIn said he was looking for a job. The response she received was disheartening.

“I am sorry you look to be about 22 years old. Way too young for this industry.

Cute but not worth spending the time.

i wish you the best of Luck.

Modeling would be better for you as a biz.”

At first, Wanner said she didn't want to do anything with the reply because a part of her didn't want people to believe it. After talking it over with an associate, however, Wanner decided to post a message of her own – mercifully sparing the man's identity and reputation.

“Over the weekend I received a message that really took me by surprise. I've blurred out the name and company he works for because I would never do anything to damage someones [sic] livelihood or well being, but I want others to see. This man specifically said he would not work with me because I look too young to be in this industry (tech). First it infuriated me, then I questioned myself as an entrepreneur, but then I picked myself up and realized that I am a 26 year old [sic] female who started a company when I was 22 years old with very little, and am kicking a$$ and taking names. If you don't like it, then I wish you all the best, sir. Don't let others bring you down, ladies, and anyone else who has been told in their life that they 'Can't' because you CAN!? #ladyboss”

In her conversation with Entrepreneur, Wanner went on to give some advice about how to handle condescension and doubt in the professional world.

"Don't care about what anyone says and don't let any of that stuff get to you."