Some startling statistics have come out of Silicon Valley that indicate some pretty troubling things for women in the tech industry. Fast Company reports that 60% of women in Silicon Valley have been sexually harassed, and if you look deeper into those numbers, it only gets worse.
A survey conducted by Trae Vassallo and Michele Madansky revealed that of 200 women working at companies such as Google, Apple, and other large tech companies and start-ups, 90% witnessed “sexist behavior at company offsites and/or industry conferences,” 60% reported “being the target of unwanted sexual advances from a superior,” and 60% of those who reported sexual harassment were “dissatisfied with the outcome.”
“After learning this had happened to other women in my department, and then reporting the event to HR, I was retaliated against and had to leave the company,” one woman explained.
“Once a client asked me to sit on his lap if I wanted him to buy my products,” another woman revealed. “My company didn’t do anything about it when I told my boss, so unfortunately I asked to be taken off that client, but it’s not like they can fire the client.”
This sexism happens on a more subtle level as well. 47% of the women surveyed have been “asked to do lower-level tasks that male colleagues are not asked to do,” and 87% have been “on the receiving end of demeaning comments from male colleagues.”
These comments include things like “We don’t have to worry about her bonus or promotion because she just got married. So she’ll probably have a baby and quit soon.”
These statistics, unsurprisingly, make the workplace an uncomfortable and unwelcoming environment for women, and the backlash from these instances is often so severe that much of it goes unreported.
While these statistics paint a troubling picture, their publication will hopefully lead to change. The tech industry is in such dire need of diversity and numbers like this only prove that point. We hope this marks the beginning of the end of this kind of discrimination in the industry.
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