Many individuals, groups and companies are making concerted efforts at discouraging sexual predatory behaviour and sexism.
Harvey Weinstein, a Hollywood film producer 's sexual harassment case could be said to have triggered a can of worms opening up, leading to many harassment cases of prominent figures in the tech and entertainment business world coming out, with more women speaking up.
Silicon valley companies among others have been getting their fair of publicised female bias, sexism and sexual harassment alleged and confirmed cases.
A recent study by law firm Carlton Fields Jorden Burt usually ask their employees to waive their rights to sue among other employee rights and settle in a private arbitration court.
Back in 2008, the Harvard Business Review published a report called "The Athena Factor" on why women were leaving science, engineering and tech careers.
It concluded that "hostile macho cultures" were to blame. "Women in SET are marginalized by lab coat, hard hat, and geek workplace cultures that are often exclusionary and predatory (fully 63% experienced sexual harassment)," it said.
In some cases, women reportedly get rebuked if they speak up against being discriminated against (sexism) by the male folks at work.
Here are five companies in tech that have been involved in one female sexual harassment or sexism case.
- Co-founder and VP of marketing, Whitney Wolfe who complained of being sexually harassed by co-founder and CMO Justin Mateen,and discriminated against was eventually forced to resign from the company.
The suit filed by Wolfe claimed that the CEO Sean Rad ignored her number of complaints and instead fired her after she came forward to resign. The suit also claimed she was stripped of her co-founder titled because she was a 24 year old “ girl” with little experience. Sean Rad who got removed from his job came back only 6 months later to resume as chairman.
Wolfe’s allegations against Tinder and its management were eventually ruled as unfounded by the court which presided over the case. She has since founded another dating app named Bumble.
- In 2015, a female Google engineer publicly accused two male engineering directors of sexual harassment on two occasions and said she got no help from HR.
Amit Singhal, another Google engineer hired by Uber, was asked to resign when Uber discovered he did not disclose allegations of harassment at Google.
- A female engineer, Susan Fowler wrote in a blog post about how she suffered sexual harassment during her one year stint at Uber.
Fowler said she was sexually harassed by a manager, ignored by HR, and was told by another manager she could be fired for reporting things.
Her claims caused Uber to launch an investigation lead by former US Attorney General Eric Holder. This led to Uber launching an investigation into what seemed to be an invasion of her private life.
- Founder and partner at seed investment group 500 startups
Dave McClure resigned after a female spoke up about interactions with him. He later issued a public apology saying “ I’m a creep, I’m sorry.”
- A female engineer at Elon Musk's Tesla filed a suit that alleged sexual harassment and discrimination. In June, Tesla fired her. After that, other Tesla female employees reportedly openly discussed harassment at a town hall as well.
Thankfully however things are beginning to shape up with more accused persons coming foward to confess looking past the shame, and they have been praised for doing this.
Professionals who have a bad history involving sexual harassment are being made not to work in the same organization
A respected engineer and diversity advocate Tracy Chou told Business Insider, "What I'm sensing now is a build-up of frustration and rage that's just tipping over, with more individuals that have enough reputation and leverage to be able to speak up, and the fear of repercussion slightly mitigated by strength in numbers. But the fear is still very much there."
Though repercussions and fears are being expressed by some who think more male VCs will be reluctant to work with female founders just to avoid any tension.
On equality, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg warns that for a real permanent change to take place, women need to fill up more executive management positions and get equal pay.