“In my opinion, all women are idiots. It may strike you as ironic, but I’m absolutely sure that women are stupider than men.” Those words weren’t spoken by a Communist-era Russian industrialist, but by Maria Podlesnova, the female founder of Rusbase, a Russian website about startups and venture capital. And her opinion is not exceptional.
The Soviet Union was once proud of its female engineers, and it might seem as if Russia is moving towards even greater gender equality. A 2015 study found that it had the most women in senior management positions (admittedly out of a rather selective list of countries), and even Quartz recently reported that many women feel empowered to become business leaders and don’t see a lot of gender bias or discrimination.