Australian start-up Atlassian has apologised after one of its engineers presented a slide at the company's developer conference in Berlin, Germany that compared Apache Maven — an automation tool used primarily for Java projects — to his girlfriend.
The engineer compared the software to the characteristics of his girlfriend as "looks beautiful, complains a lot, demands my attention, interrupts me when I'm working, doesn't play well with my other friends".
On the company's blog, co-founders Mike Cannon-Brookes wrote that what was presented on the slide does not reflect the company's values and that its "quite simply, not OK".
"Sexism is a difficult issue for the tech industry, and today we didn't make it any better," he said.
"We are going through all the events that allowed this slide to reach the public. We've already started immediate action. Where our organisation and process were lacking, we will add oversight. Where our culture is at fault, we will change that culture."
Dell's second annual Gender-Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI) revealed recently that more than 75 percent of countries surveyed are not meeting the most fundamental conditions required for female entrepreneurs to prosper.
Commissioned by Dell, the Gender-GEDI found Australia is one of three best places for female entrepreneurship, together with the United States and newcomer Sweden. Australia is recognised for providing a good environment to start a business as well as having a high percentage of female business owners who were highly educated. The country also had the most female technology startups out of the 30 countries studied.