Another California tech company sued for sexual harassment
Silicon Valley has an unflattering reputation as being female-unfriendly. Not only are women very underrepresented in the tech world, but those who do work in the industry are often subjected to sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
A recent example of this alleged hostility toward women is a lawsuit filed by a former employee of Tinder, which makes the dating app of the same name. The plaintiff alleges that she was sexually harassed by another employee over a period of about 18 months. She also alleges that she co-founded the company and came up with the name but that her title was removed because, she was told, having a female co-founder would somehow make the company less valuable or credible.
The plaintiff was, at one point, romantically involved with the boss who allegedly perpetrated the sexual harassment. As is often the case with office romances that sour, the professional relationship between the two was also affected. The plaintiff alleges that her boss called her degrading names in front of coworkers, including a “whore” and “a desperate loser.”
Tinder’s CEO is also named in the lawsuit for allegedly failing to respond to complaints of sexual harassment. The plaintiff said that he at times ignored her complaints and sometimes dismissed her as a “dramatic or emotional girl.”
Lawsuits and allegations like this are sadly common in California’s tech industry. Until or unless Silicon Valley breaks free from its “boys’ club” mentality, women will continue to struggle in an industry that could really use some female perspectives.
Source: Reuters, “Former executive sues dating app Tinder, alleges sexual harassment,” Sarah McBride, June 30, 2014