In an industry as forward-thinking as technology, it is surprising to think that sexual harassment still exists, but it does, and it is pervasive. A recent New York Times article explored the gender imbalance and misogynistic culture that exists in tech. In the article, several female executives describe their experiences being sexually harassed by some of the industry’s major players in the process of seeking jobs or capital. The harassment ranged from sexist comments to outright propositions for sex and went as far as physical contact in some cases. As the industry continues to explode with growth, what can be done to fix the problem of sexual harassment in tech?
Addressing the Gender Imbalance in Tech
Part of the problem of sexual harassment in tech is in the numbers. Men simply outnumber women across the board. Most of the major players – the venture capitalists and entrepreneurs are men. Women entrepreneurs received $1.5 billion in capital last year, while men received $58.2 billion. Money equals power in tech. For companies to shatter outdated gender roles, they need to promote diversity. Hiring employees from under-represented minorities creates the kind of inclusive culture where everyone feels represented and safe.
Speaking out Against Sexual Harassment
One of the women in the New York Times article talked about pursuing a job with a San Francisco based tech investment firm. During the recruitment process, the founder and CEO of the firm messaged her on social media saying he had a hard time deciding whether to “hire you or hit on you.” After calling him out on his comments, the victim says the hiring process ended.
While this woman spoke out, unfortunately most women overlook such behavior out of fear. Several women in the article describe fear of retaliation, termination, or being blacklisted in the industry if they speak out against harassment. They feel they have to tolerate harassment to get ahead in tech. However, without accountability, attitudes and behaviors will not change. Women in tech need to call their harassers out, and take legal action against such behavior.
Using the Law to Prevent Harassment
Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal. There is legal recourse available for victims of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other forms of sexual harassment. When such behavior creates a hostile work environment or jeopardizes a victim’s job, legal action may be warranted.
Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Fight Sexual Harassment
Many victims do not realize that sexual harassment not always comes from a boss or supervisor. Co-workers, clients, and even customers can be the harassers. Furthermore, harassers are not always men; women can be the harassers as well. Sexual harassment can also happen between people of the same sex. If you are dealing with unwelcome sexual comments or behavior at work, or any other form of discrimination, but are afraid to speak out, Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at the law from of Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. can help.
Sidney L. Gold and his team protect victims from of all forms of workplace discrimination and hold harassers accountable. Schedule a free consultation with a Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyer today by calling 215-569-1999 or contact us online.