Wednesday, January 13, 2016
The numbers are in — and Silicon Valley looks like a sleaze pit.
Sixty percent of the women working in Silicon Valley have endured unwanted sexual advances, and nearly two-thirds of those women said the harassment came from a supervisor, according to a new survey.
Horror stories ran the gamut, from getting groped in public by a boss to employers that hosted lunches at Hooters, according to the survey published this week, titled “Elephant in the Valley.”
One respondent said a hiring manager “clearly indicated that if I slept with him, he would make sure I was promoted as his ‘second in command,’ ” according to the survey.
One in four of the 220 women in the survey — which was conducted by seven women including Trae Vassallo, a key witness in Ellen Pao’s discrimination trial against venture capital giant Kleiner Perkins — held C-level positions.
One in 10 were founders of tech companies, and many worked at big firms like Apple and Google.
“Once a client asked me to sit on his lap if he wanted to buy my products,” another respondent said, noting that her firm kept the client and took her off the account.
Another venture capital respondent wrote that a “CEO asked me to go through a door first so he could ‘watch me walk’ and my superiors at the firm told me to laugh it off.”
Despite a wealth of cringe-inducing stories, nearly 40 percent of women said they didn’t report them to employers for fear of hurting their careers. Of those who did, 60 percent said they were unsatisfied with the result.