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[flagged] Uber is not the only tech company that mishandles sexual harassment claims (techcrunch.com)
40 points by JumpCrisscross on Feb 20, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 12 comments

But they seem to be the only one with a former female engineer who can write well and is willing to do so.

One of the less obvious lessons from this is the power of good writing. I know Susan Fowler's story is compelling on its own, but I believe her ability to write about it so well resulted in the backlash Uber is facing today.

Her blog post is engaging, to the point and her narration sets the right tone and hits the right emotional chords.

This is the perfect example of "the pen is mightier than the sword."

We probably wouldn't even be thinking twice about it if this behavior was going on in Wall Street (not saying that's a good thing, but we sort of give that industry a pass since "that's how things are there")

But SV has cultivated a bubbly and "doing good in the world" image for itself. That comes with advantages and goodwill, but it also raises the moral bar for the industry.

Raising the moral bar: seems like that's also an advantage? (If we manage to do so.)

I don't get the lame excuse that somebody who is a manager has some high technical breadth or is a high performer. From working in Silicon Valley I can't recall thinking that some random manager would be irreplaceable. Verify the claim then fire the idiot. Sexual harassment is not hard to stamp out after making a few examples of people at a company.

"If sexual harassment is this entrenched, what is the answer?"

Well, one answer is to create stronger federal legislation that criminalizes this kind of behavior and protects plaintiffs. The ruling in the Ellen Pao case exposed the weakness of current law and judicial precedent.

Until plaintiffs feel secure in bringing charges and until companies feel true fear (legal and financial costs) in getting caught, I doubt much will change.

> Well, one answer is to create stronger federal legislation ...

That is one answer, but it's not a very encouraging or empowering one. The people currently in charge of the US federal government seem less likely than the average government to implement this sort of change. But leaving aside our harasser-in-Chief and his party's firm grip on the legislative branch, federal legislation isn't something most people feel they can do much about anyway.

What I'd like to know is: what can I as a man in the tech industry do about this -- aside from not harassing people, which seems like a bare minimum.

> "what can I as a man in the tech industry do about this -- aside from not harassing people, which seems like a bare minimum."

Those may be obvious basics, but starting at ones own (work) environment seems like a good idea:

Deliberate about the own behaviour and thinking. Acknowledge the existence of sexism. Speak out against sexist behaviour (starting with things like sexist jokes), even if it costs you your manhood in front of your (sexist) male co-workers. Don't think that it's only the job of your female co-workers to point out sexism and harassment.[0] Keep in mind that you can always decide just to go back to business and try to ignore the sexism around you - your female co-workers can not so easy.[1]

Oh, and when I look through the comments below the article at TC one more thing: Don't play the white knight or expect a medal for not being sexist - not being sexist should be a matter of course.

[0] Like "My female coworkers never complaint, so I thougt it's okay to just ignore or even enjoy sexist jokes and other innuendos."

[1] Disclaimer: Since I'm part of the rethorical "you" I have to admit that I caught my self just choosing the "easy way" more often than I wished.

Or people start to unionize. They aren't perfect, but if the work place is poisonous, how could it get worse?

I really wish this was a headline that surprised me.

I've always felt like I work at a company that would handle this well, but I don't particularly want to find out.

This article makes many sweeping generalizations and references unattributed sources and people.

This is barely journalism - anybody can make unfounded accusations, but to indict an entire sector of industry based on 2 past incidents and one current pending unsubstantiated one is ridiculous.

Journalists do often report on what they learned from anonymous sources. No, it's not transparent, intentionally so. When that happens, you need to decide whether you trust the journalist to vet their sources.


From her profile:

> Megan Rose Dickey is a reporter at TechCrunch focused on diversity, inclusion and social justice.

One of her latest articles:

> Dear White People, You Suck At Diversity

Most of her articles come with a huge SJW slant. The second title is directly racist. Also, it's odd that her article comes out the day after the Uber allegations.

Her use of anonymous sources and clearly biased views predisposes me to discount her vetting, especially with her profile and background.

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