The four men were
Put yourself in this position for just a second. You helped found a company, you contributed major ideas, you got it to the point where Google decides it's worth slurping up. But then:
Do you have any clue what that feels like? It's horrible. It's people saying: "I don't respect you because of how you were born."
It's impossible to imagine this rejection if you are a majority member. Well, I can tell you - it hurts. A lot. Probably one of the hardest pains out there.
The worst part about me reading this article is that this week alone I heard stories about TWO amazing, brilliant, talented, superstar women completely leave their rockstar jobs to adopt non-rockstar occupations.
Why did these brilliant, talented, incredible women leave their rockstar occupations? Because they couldn't handle the sexism any more. They had no fight left in them.
What can you do? Well, sponsor the heck out of / promote the professional women you know.
1) Talk about women to others: "Jane Smith is doing AMAZING work related to yours, you should check out her papers."
2) Invite women: "Let's invite Jane Smith as a keynote speaker, her research rocks" "Let's ask Jane Smith to lead this project, I think she'd do a fantastic job."
3) Suggest women when you're poaching people: "Let's see if we could recruit Jane Smith to our department."
and, if you're a journalist:
4) Interview women. Some publications do well at this, some are still in the stone ages. There are women scientists out there, and they have opinions and interesting things to say too!
And, if you're google, don't be evil. (Write that one down!).