Following the sexual harassment and sexual discrimination claims made by two engineers working at Uber and Tesla, a spotlight is being put on how women are treated at Silicon Valley startups. In fact, more women have come forward with their own experiences of harassment and discrimination. Some of the companies that were called out for discriminating against female employees included Zynga, Mircosoft and Sun Microsystems.
Like many other industries, the tech industry is dominated by men. Because there is a major disparity in who is hired into leadership roles and who is setting the company culture agenda, sexual discrimination issues can often arise. Although the tech industry is still generally new when compared to other sectors, it appears to be following the same male dominance trend.
Even though sexual discrimination can be expected, tech companies should still implement policies that protect all of their employees. This usually means having a strong human resources team that encourages and protects anonymity when reports are being made. This eliminates the threat of retaliation, especially when employees are already afraid to come forward for fear of losing their job or from being punished. Additionally, there need to be severe consequences for employees who discriminate or sexually harass their co-workers.
When employees report sexual harassment or discrimination and are either terminated or punished for making the report, they might want to seek sexual harassment legal assistance. An employment attorney may file a lawsuit against the employer especially if the employee lost income and emotional distress due to a hostile work environment.