When Blake Francis, the founder of the advice app Need, wanted to get journalists' attention, he decided to send over some swag baskets. Instead of being filled with the usual branded pens and t-shirts, Francis' basket contained a vibrator, a bottle of K-Y Jelly sexual lubricant, raw oysters and a bottle of tequila.

He got San Francisco Chronicle tech journalist Kristen Brown's attention, all right. In a post about her confrontation with Francis about the sexualized swag basket, as well as about the tech industry's continued sexism problem, Brown writes that she asked Francis why he would send her these items. His first response was that they were all products recommended on Need, with tags featuring screenshots of the app with the conversations in which the products were mentioned. He also added that he'd sent the swag to male and female journalists alike because he thought they'd "stand out."

Later, he said, “In retrospect, we did not use good judgment.”

Although he may have sent the basket filled with sexually suggestive items to male journalists, they clearly would have been received differently by female tech journalists, who already feel out of place in tech, with its sexism problem. “Francis didn’t seem to grasp that sex -- or a woman’s sexuality -- isn’t a topic appropriate for a professional setting.”

Girls are not only being discouraged from studying computer science, Brown writes, but also those who end up working in the industry find themselves struggling against a sexist bro culture, and many quit. "I rarely meet a woman in tech who does not have a similar story to share," Brown writes, "be it of the venture capitalist who hit on her, the co-worker who makes too many sexual jokes or the boss who doesn’t invite the women on the team to big meetings."

Laura Sherbin, director of research at the Center for Talent Innovation, a nonprofit think tank that studies workplace diversity, recently did research for the Harvard Business Review and found that more than half of women who work in science, engineering and technology end up leaving because of hostile work environments. "It's not just about getting women in the pipeline," said Laura Sherbin. "It’s about keeping them."

Swag baskets filled with K-Y Jelly, in other words, aren't helping.