Comment three was 'aha they issued a vague apology, this is basically a FULL ADMISSION that everything Horvath said was true!'
People: when did our brains melt and spill out of our ears? There is not enough public information present to reliably prove or disprove anything at this point; Github issued a nonspecific semi-apology (to wit: "It’s certain that there were things we could have done differently" well, yeah this is usually the case) with some promising indications that they are taking the issue seriously & looking into it.
Now we wait. Stop saying github is admitting to every point of Horvath's assertions! Stop saying Horvath is a liar! You don't know these things! Take deep breaths, listen for a bit, and wait for more information to come out.
I would say this statement is a very clever move from GitHub side. I guess they have skilled PR people working on the issue.
At first look, the cited article seems to admit to everything. As a result, it will be sort of last news on the topic - if they admitted Horvath is right and they even put on leave a founder and the programmer and founder's wife will not be allowed to enter office, then what's more can be said or written? Github did everything it could to resolve the issue.
The point is that they did not admitted anything. The only paragraph that contains actual content is paragraph no 2., the rest is just speaking how Github grows and how they liked Horvath, how sad it is that Horvath is sad, etc.
So we have:
"We know we have to take action and have begun a full investigation. While that’s ongoing, and effective immediately, the relevant founder has been put on leave, as has the referenced GitHub engineer. The founder’s wife discussed in the media reports has never had hiring or firing power at GitHub and will no longer be permitted in the office."
So they have started "full investigation", just that. After two months when everybody will forget about the issue, the founder with his wife and the programmer might be back at Github (who knows what the investigation is going to prove - Horvath will not take part in it - she's no longer an employee). Whatever happens nobody will pay attention. No media will investigate the issue further because "Github admitted Horvath is right", so the topis is closed and no longer "hot".
I guess GitHub cannot publicly admit that Horvath is right or not, their lawyers would be mad, it is much better for them to keep all statements fuzzy and sounding good.
But I'm not convinced that this is a "clever PR move" as you suggest. What else can GitHub do at this point? Fire the people involved without even investigating?
Yes, perhaps they are bullshitting. But this is also what the PR release would say if they were trying to do the right things by all parties but don't have the information they need or the time they need to figure out exactly what the repercussions should be.
When the topic is as controversial as sexism in tech and the workplace. Or whatever the flashpoint happens to be at the moment. Like sequoia, I've noticed that controversial topics brings out the most incredible responses from both sides, and often with very little definitive evidence. To me, this is a sign of how deeply felt this topic is, and how much it is just under the surface of our thoughts, ready to explode when an appropriate trigger occurs.
I laughed when I read the quote above and thought it was a good comment.
In the case of GitHub specifically, the issue is even clearer. This is a company that for years had a blog with little else than their drinking escapades. Perhaps that's changed, but the burden of proof is on them.
The only thing that is up for dispute is whether this particular case is an example of sexism in tech or not. We can't be 100% sure, but at this time it's safer to assume that the weaker party is right, if only because the stronger party can handle a quick-to-judge public much more easily than the weaker party. I'm not saying it's boycott time, but it's best to at least open the discussion with that assumption in mind. Again, the burden of proof is on GitHub.
I can see how "to align with the weaker party" can be a sensible goal for a society. However, in this case it directly conflicts with the presumption of innocence principle, which is an even higher goal for a just society.
So no, the burden of proof lies in whoever is making the accusations, whatever the (un)balanced of power between parties is.
What we should do is (1) not judge any party until there are enough facts on the table (of which we don't have many right now); (2) strive for an impartial account of the events; (3) judge only on and after evidence has been collected. If you want to support a cause, pushing for people to follow this recipe would work much better than pushing for "the weaker party is right until the stronger party proves themselves".
Because sexism in tech is a fact, this occasion is an opportunity to discuss it. Debating whether Horvath is right or wrong is not only futile, but is also potentially harmful to her, and that harm is far greater than GitHub's. Presumption of innocence is only a principle in legal disputes, and this, currently, isn't one, nor are we the jury. There will be no great injustice done if the assumption turns out to be false, but there is a lot of harm being inflicted on Horvath right now by people equating her position with that of a rich company and suspending any form of judgment. This does not only harm her personally, but the entire industry by implying that sexism in tech is disputable and pending "further data", which it isn't.
Given that sexism in tech is real and serious, that GitHub has a bit of a spotty background on that issue, and that GitHub does not deny any of the allegations, this is a perfectly good time to assume something bad has happened and discuss measures to correct the situation in the industry. If it turns out GitHub has fallen victim to the very real injustice of sexism in tech, I won't shed a tear for them, but will be excited to see them face the challenge and lead the way forward.
The presumption of innocence doesn't mean that anyone must either think or pretend to think that someone is innocent, any more than freedom of speech means that facebook can't take your youtube link down.
This is a good illustration of the point in the grandparent comment. This is simply not true, and I can't even think of any fallacy/ belief/ blindspot that could be adopted by a somewhat rational listener to make it sound convincing. (just to address the recalcitrant credulous among you: consider whether there is discrimination against Down Syndrome sufferers amongst tenured faculty on math departments)
In topics where people have deep vested personal interest or emotional investment, the quality of arguments that they would view as convincing goes down (often way down). The tragedy here is that the discourse about complicated topics which are important is overrun by people who have either (or, most often both) vested interests in a particular outcome, or little knowledge about the topic.
Saying "period period" at the end, I think, indicates that on some level, the parent commenter knows that s/he is presenting a weak argument. The poster's emotion overpowers this, however.
The reason I put "period" is because many people aren't aware of the current body of research in gender studies and sociology, and modern definitions of sexism (a simple introduction can be found here, esp. unintentional sexism: "The tendency to use intent, rather than result, to measure whether something was offensive and inappropriate, and therefore sexist, is tied into male privilege and the way that it enables sexist practices to be seen as normal."). If women are largely absent from a group wielding any social power, then by definition sexism exists (or sex-based discrimination, if you prefer), unless you can prove that being a woman is a relevant debilitating disability, which I don't even think anyone conjectures. Because the data suggests that diversity in Silicon Valley is severely lacking, this is a serious problem in Silicon Valley.
(Any rationalization such as "but what if women don't want to be in tech" is irrelevant. The assumption is that all groups want to take part in powerful institutions, and if they don't, it must be because somewhere along the line society encouraged them not to want that, thus effectively removing them from power.)
Another case in point, it was a counterexample, not a comparison.
In your case, I now believe you are primarily just a sloppy/ bad thinker (who is also heavily invested in a certain position), but my original point about emotion clouding judgement still stands.
And, again, I'm sorry for my sloppy thinking, but I believe that "consider whether there is discrimination against Down Syndrome sufferers amongst tenured faculty on math departments" is not a counterexample because pertinent disability most certainly doesn't fall under any definition of sexism/racism and other unfair discrimination (same goes for quadriplegics in the NBA). Pitting disability against sexism as a counterexample appeared to me to be a brow-raising comparison. This fallacy is called reductio ad absurdum or a straw man.
If you'd like, I can come up with a better counterpoint (or so it would seem to my feeble mind, which I actually had to exercise for this): white players in the NBA. However, that, too, would not fall under the modern definition for racism, as racism (like sexism) is "prejudice + power", and I don't think anyone suggests white men lack power or influence in American sports.
And if I was sloppy by not qualifying the term "a well defined group of people" to exclude disability, forgive me, I thought it was patently clear from the context, namely a discussion on women. And please don't try to counter with discrimination against those who don't know programming or village idiots, because the definition excludes that kind of "discrimination", too, and I hope that's clear enough without me quoting vast amounts of research verbatim.
3,000 us army deaths in Iraq, and of those, 2,938 were men, 62 were women.
You are correct, but only if the term 'discrimation' includes 'discrimination based on skill levels.' If not, then you are assuming that power-relevant skill is distributed evenly, which is baldly false in many real-wrld situations.
And you are absolutely right. Sex discrimination is systemic, probably starting in kindergarten and even at home. However, it's hard to fix education if young girls don't have lots of positive role-models to look up to, and you can't make those role models unless education is fixed. So fighting sexism has to be systemic as well, and at all levels at once.
It is telling that the topic of sexism in tech and the workplace is controversial at all.
Yes - it tells use that it's a deeply emotional and often deeply subjective topic where situations can be interpreted very differently depending on your point of view and you do not necessarily have as clear a villain and victim as people like to have.
I'm not sure if you were framing this as a net negative or positive, but I actually do appreciate when these controversial debates occur. I like to see all the contrasting world-views brought out into the open and into conflict with each other. I agree that civility is a problem, though.
Anyway, I mention this because I worry sometimes that HN's "flamewar detector" (or is it purely flagging?) seems to kill these kinds of threads, ones with a high comment-to-upvote ratio (though some notable recent threads have seemed to escape this). I often wonder if this mechanism is worth the trouble. I suppose if heated debate leads to polarization of opinion, that's an issue, but I don't know if that's necessarily the case.
I can reassure you that this thread would have quickly been flagged off just a few months ago.
I'm guessing it's due to the fair amount of criticism PG received (from myself included) over how the flamewar-filter censored sensitive, yet important, discussions just like the ones this story sparked.
Or, the complaints including yours probably did have -some- influence, but I think you're overestimating how much because to you, your comments were a heartfelt effort to make a point, whereas to pg they were 'add one to number of complaints of type X'. It's still important, given said number will have been factored into the decision making process, but probably not that important.
Regardless; I can confirm that many people complained about it and roughly a week or two after the whole 'PG is a sexist' kerfluffle sexism related threads stopped being flagged off the frontpage... It seemed like relevant information for the OP.
It definitely leads to my polarization, along with other (seemingly unfair) events in my life. Plus, it is hard to express any other opinion than in favour of the women, which leads to unvoiced discomfort and is clearly not the situation you want in an industry.
I wish women would speak up more often for men's cause. That's also what equality means.
If they are starting now to investigate, it means that when troubles were occuring, or even when Julia H. gave her demission, they didn't care enough to investigate thoroughly (perhaps they have other priorities, that's just a fact).
This in itself is not good looking, and I feel that from there whatever really happened, they won't have the full version anymore (one of the party is already out) and they will have a huge incentive to go into damage control mode instead of genuinely trying to make the situation better for both parties. Especially, the more they do, the worse their image would be on the PR front ( I hope they do whatever is fair anyway, but the balance is tipped).
I admit, I do care about things more than most. My workgroup, and much of the company I work for migrated to github enterprise (and a lot in github public) about a year ago. These kinds of things sour opinion. There are differences between a single bad actor/incident and a systemic problem in a toxic workplace. We don't really know what this is, but it was clearly more than at least one person was willing to put up with.
It's bound to be difficult working in an environment where 4:5 of your peers are the other gender. I worked in a couple of workplaces when I was younger where I was the only male. It was rather eye opening and sometimes uncomfortable to say the least.
Also, people might forget about the issue in 6 months, but the bad taste in the mouth we have now will stay attached to the brand. The best move IMO would be to come 'clean' as soon as possible, and let the hype die down from there, provided they are OK with doing the right thing, whatever it might be.
GitHub's response neither confirms nor denies any part of the story. It does say the founder's wife will no longer be allowed in the office, but that is not an admission of wrongdoing nor of her ever having been in the office.
Edit: The only thing this response proves is that GitHub is taking these allegations seriously, which hopefully means there will be more information after they have time to investigate. Try not to jump to the many other conclusions already posted in HN comments.
First hand testimony might be imperfect, but It is evidence.
Whether or not its conclusive remains to be seen.
That's the larger point.
Certainly, the above linked article lends at least some credibility to some claims.
The fact that the wife of a founder needed to <even be mentioned> in this type of PR damage controll manouvre...is a huge red flag by itself.
Please, stop speculating. Have patience, wait for actual information.
Well, they do say:
We know we have to take action and have begun a full
investigation. While that’s ongoing, and effective
immediately, the relevant founder has been put on leave,
as has the referenced GitHub engineer. The founder’s wife
discussed in the media reports has never had hiring or
firing power at GitHub and will no longer be permitted in
"While that’s ongoing, and effective immediately, the relevant founder has been put on leave, as has the referenced GitHub engineer." == "We don't know what to do yet but we're trying to prevent variables from changing"
"The founder’s wife discussed in the media reports has never had hiring or firing power at GitHub and will no longer be permitted in the office." == "If she said anything along those lines, she had no authority to do so, and misrepresented herself and her role at GitHub"
Yes, it's legalese, but it's not actually saying or admitting anything that anybody didn't already know. It's filling the silence that would otherwise breed directionless slander and conspiracy.
It's manipulative, but arguably well intentioned, and can possibly lead to a more constructive outcome than the free-form slather that would have occurred in a communication vacuum.
In both cases, they wouldn't want him having any potential influence on the investigation. To do that, his power within the company needs to be suspended until a conclusion is reached. The parties investigating (likely HR and the other founders) must be able to do their job without fear of retaliation from the accused founder, that would taint the decision.
Of course it can also mean the opposite - my point is merely that suspending someone pending investigation says nothing at all about guilt.
I'm seeing plenty of mea culpa in this, and that's good. They could have responded far worse, and only slightly better.
> It's unfortunate TechCrunch and Valley Wag posted the story without first corroborating at least some piece of it.
Asking for corroboration is fine, but we should be mindful that some things that are true can't be corroborated and demanding corroboration just gives the accused party the de facto ability to suppress the information or the debate.
Her story passes a basic smell test, it very well could be true, and there is no specific reason to doubt her. While this doesn't mean it is true, it isn't necessarily irresponsible to publish it either.
Again, that is speculation. "What ifs" are not useful here.
As "news" outlets, I expect both sites to corroborate stories before posting them. If they don't, they are effectively tabloids. Posting allegations like this is the definition of tabloid journalism.
There are too many people involved in this story for me to believe that zero of them were reachable for comment. TechCrunch only vaguely mentions "awaiting comment from GitHub", which could mean anything.
I do think it is irresponsible to publish such a story without any corroboration because it implicates several people directly and an entire company's work environment with nothing more than one person's word.
The whole story could be true, but the fact is no one knows; TechCrunch and Valley Wag certainly don't.
We only have the luxury of observing one "version" of events (unless you can hop between multiverses). Therefore, the only way we have to evaluate past events is by asking "what if" questions.
What if TechCrunch hadn't picked up the story? Basically no one would have heard about it and Github quite possibly wouldn't have felt the need to respond or investigate (maybe they still would have, another "what if", but they wouldn't have been under as much pressure).
Something went down. I'm not saying we should just lynch the accused parties and move on. But I am saying that often the only way for a small actor to get attention is for a news outlet to pick up his or her story. And if they refuse to publish without some kind of official confirmation, then very few such stories will be printed, because the larger, more powerful entity will quash them with silence.
Classic case of confirmation bias.
Would you accuse scientists of confirmation bias if they chose to look for more evidence rather than just publish the results of the first experiment?
It admits no guilt, declares that individuals are the possible cause and that action is being taken to prevent their continued damage, notifies the community that a new HR head started very recently, and attempts to be as graceful as possible in acknowledging the points made by the victim.
If you get a chance, watch 'Wing Chun', an informative documentary on the same topic, and note the effectiveness of 'cotton belly'.
: http://zachholman.com/posts/github-communication/ (first screenshot)
> We still use (and love) Campfire.
Even if this episode were only hypothetical, this episode reminds me that many people have poor decision-making abilities, even if they are super intelligent. A co-founder of a company like Github would and should have a very good brain and very good decision-making prowess. And yet, here we see instances of him possibly:
1. Not being able to identify boundaries between his personal life and his work life, and allowing factors from his personal life to influence his work life, possibly very negatively (magnified by his position at the company).
2. Not being able to communicate with people and ascertain the truth of the matter. Someone had to lie to cause him to accuse Horvath of lying: either his wife lied or Horvath lied, and he didn't appear to do a good job of getting the truth and resolving the situation.
3. Having perhaps made a poor marriage decision. I would not be surprised if everyone downvotes me for this speculation, and am sorry if this ruffles features. But if this episode is true, there are very few ways that this co-founder's marriage comes out looking good. Either he's absolutely insensitive to the needs of his company or he's completely whipped by a woman who cares more about herself than him. If it's a poor marriage decision, he wouldn't be the first person in history, people from all walks of life seem to make poor marriage decisions all the time.
In the end, I am reminded again that people are messy, and no matter how intelligent they appear to be, they can still have the potential to act stupidly.
> Not being able to communicate with people and ascertain the truth of the matter. Someone had to lie to cause him to accuse Horvath of lying: either his wife lied or Horvath lied, and he didn't appear to do a good job of getting the truth and resolving the situation.
Sure, and a good managers should have no problem figuring out things that can take police and the courts years and years.
> If it's a poor marriage decision, he wouldn't be the first person in history, people from all walks of life seem to make poor marriage decisions all the time.
How is that relevant, and what exactly does that even mean? You don't really know who the person is and will be when you're getting married, you're just making a bet that they really are who you think they are, and that they wouldn't change in the future. If this episode is true, they can either do what married people should do (stick together, learn, communicate, support each other, and resolve the issues), or they can say "fuck it, we're stupid and made a poor marriage decision", and separate.
I think you misread me. I believe I made it pretty clear that I think that people from all walks of life do not find it easy to make good decisions. I don't believe it is so easy. I talk as one who has made many poor decisions myself.
> How is that relevant, and what exactly does that even mean?
I really don't want to get into this, mainly because we don't have enough information. But the gist is what I've stated, that he may have entered into a marriage with a selfish and megalomaniac woman who cares more about herself than him. Again, we don't have enough information to confirm, but the questions are asked because there are allegations of such behaviour.
And for the record, I have seen plenty of good, high-quality marriages where doing what married people should do does not become public incidents (i.e. they are able to work out their issues in the way you describe, but in private so that they don't become public spectacles).
Imagine getting a restraining order from an employee of your husbands company. I suppose they should have made a cut way sooner...
This was my thought as well. I don't know who the founder is, or what is going on here, but I feel like people are going to be quick to villainize that founder over the actions of his wife, as if they function as one unit.
In reality, if a founder's spouse has that kind of power over the founder's employees, that founder is very likely to be in a divorce within 5 years. In healthy marriages, people don't interfere with their spouses' careers. Support is different from meddling. If JAH's allegations are true, I feel pity rather than anger toward that founder, because it means his marriage is on the rocks and he might not even know it yet.
Of course, it would have been better if Julie had felt like she could have taken this up while she still worked there and got something done at the time.
I'm not saying "they should apologize and I know it" because I don't know it, I know practically nothing of the situation, but this is no "straight up apology."
So...doesn't their response then make sense?
It's hard to apologise for something specific before you know what that actually is.
Blame the CEO and the rest of the management team for not hiring a good HR person sooner if you want, but I don't see how you fault the person who just walked into this mess. Unless you're blaming them for not seeing the mess or walking into it with their eyes open. To me, that seems counterproductive. Having people with the appropriate skills take on the difficult work of improving these cultures is part of how things get better.
I wasn't suggesting that HR bring forth radical change, either, merely recognize the problems and work towards finding a solution (even though that would have been extremely difficult in itself, considering how little the executives seemed to help).
Disagree. The situtation is highly ambiguous. HR is a game of "the best victories are wars not fought". And so in some regards, its too late.
On the other-hand, if HR was on the right...they were "over-ruled" by more than one of CEO/founders/sr execs. This surely means this person has diminished capacity to act. If not due to competence, than due to "lack of formiddableness".
Because it shouldn't take a public PR nightmare to convince (ie, show some leadership) that following HR101 is a good idea.
It is only the rare edge case that this person was in perfect pitch (and ignored) yesterday and will be held in higher regard tomorrow.
So, this is why things are not clear cut here for anyone.
Y'know, I hope I'm wrong, but there's a good chance you're surprised because you don't know what sexism is. An awful lot of men seem to have this notion that "sexism" means "something happened to a woman that she didn't like." It doesn't. Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex or gender, if you'll forgive me quoting Wikipedia. Calling out a woman for doing something shitty is not sexist. Saying "well, what can you expect from a woman" would be.
I think people would hate the spouse just the same if it were a man, so I disagree with you on this.
Do I see any sexism against the wife of the co-founder from GitHub's statement? No
If you'd like to continue the discussion then go ahead and provide something of worth.
This comment is ironic I know, but these kind of posts derail the debate.
Moreover, making mistakes in the context of misusing a privilege can and should carry greater stigma than making those same mistakes in some other contexts.
Nothing to do with sexism, everything to do with a person making decisions for the company who is (1) personally close to an executive and (2) without a formal role at the company.
* General scientific opinion (it's generally roundish).
* Religious doctrine (it's flat, centre of universe, on the back of a turtle).
* And then this person: http://www.timecube.com/
Point is, only one of these sides is reasonable.
The fact that she was married to someone who did have hiring or firing power and WAS permitted in the office means she DID have (defacto) hiring or firing power.
I wonder what the ramifications are, legal-wise? Obviously the founder could be sued, especially if he was allowing someone who wasn't an employee to harass. I suspect A16Z will waste no time putting distance between themselves and the (allegedly) guilty founder. In the end, this wife's jealousy could end up costing her family 10s or 100s of millions of dollars.
Before we string up the cofounder's wife, let's actually let her and/or the cofounder defend themselves, OK? It's entirely possible Horvath is completely embellishing things and the cofounder's wife didn't do anything terribly out of line.
The key here is that the founder's wife has a regular presence in the office. Plus, a founder is in a vastly higher position of authority than an employee (be it a manager, or else).
So it's not too far to imagine that she could exert some influence towards her husband's decision at work, e.g. hiring and firing of someone.
I hire people, and I talk to my wife all the time about work matters. And if, knowing everything she knows about my team, she told me that I should be looking at cutting someone loose, I would take that advice very seriously. Every good executive has trusted advisors, and for people in serious relationships the partner is very commonly one of those advisors.
The only problem here is the wife's alleged direct meddling with work matters, not that she had a strong influence on her husband's work decisions. For founders, life is totally enmeshed with work and it would actually be weird if his wife DIDN'T have strong opinions on the company he built while she supported him at home.
A smaller family run business, maybe I could see such policies happening (not necessarily right), but a venture backed company with a board and a trio of cofounders? Bad, bad form.
Plenty of founder's spouses are allowed in and have been allowed in our offices. None of them had any hiring or firing power.
Almost exactly what I expected. As the startup grows larger (200+ employees now for Github?) it's not uncommon to have some cultural setback. +1 for Github trying to fix it asap, but still Chris Wanstrath did not mention how are they exactly going to fix the culture. Putting founder on leave is by no means panacea. The behavior on that one founder is very likely not the cause for the wrong culture, but just the side effect. So more specific plans INSIDE the company, please? (well, actually I think fixing the culture can't be done by any plan, but it must be done by example of founders/high-level executives.)
Women in software is an important topic. This specific issue on the other hand is just a he-said-she-said soap opera.
Nobody but the folks directly involved here know what really happened. Everything else is useless.
I would maintain, though, that besides the involved parties nobody can possibly know what really happened, and hence everything is just idle speculation.
Resigning and talking about it is actually pretty courageous. She doesn't win, she gets a stigma. Her company doesn't win, it gets a stigma. But the spectators with their mouths agog realize that this kind of mismanagement/harassment is not only happening under noses, but also being noticed externally (it's endemic; while women and minorities likely deal with it a lot more, it's not just gender-based, it often happens to the lawful-good no matter what gender or race in small tech companies) and, for a brief time, these companies pull themselves together and become better places to work, if only because it's expensive and time-consuming and morale-killing to fuck this stuff up.
If you had read the original article  you'd have known that she decided to take action after a "Secret post" was publicly published about her departure. (We could comment all day about the bravery of the anonymous GitHub employees who used Secret as a public mean of ridiculing her)
It is also easier for her to go public than to try to sue a billion dollar company, and have to be involved in a lawsuit for years. Nobody wants that hassle.
Bullies are able to operate because people keep quiet. Going public is often the best way to defeat a bully. The founder, his wife, and the employee who ripped out her code never thought the general public would know about the things they did. If they did, they would never have done them.
Which would have put Github instantly on the defensive, and would have lead to limited and speculative publicity only. As it is, Github is not being sued, and seems to be making a proper effort to address its problems. This sounds better, really.
Not necessarily. It can put pressure on the company to take it seriously and fix it, and make more people aware of these kind of problems. And that seems to be what's happening here. Keeping it under wraps allows the situation to continue as it was.
Is what she described accurate? Maybe so, maybe not. No one fucking knows, and that is the point. Stop being assholes about it until someone, if anyone, has been proven to have done wrong. It's not uncommon for someone to feel sourgrapes about a situation and use "sexism" as a way to manipulate it in their favor. Most of you act like that isn't even a fucking possibility.
I'm not terribly clear on US company governance and GitHub is atypical, so mojombo's new role is a bit fuzzy to me.
Which is to say, you're fuzzy on it because it's fuzzy. There are no strict rules as to the structure of senior corporate officers.
If you really want to out him that badly just man up an post his name rather than trying to weasel around with "Easier to put a president on leave than a CEO".
I wasn't outing anyone, the founder who shall not be named is the only married one as plenty of people pointed out from the start.
Also, for context to the original comment, the founder we are discussing here used to be CEO but switched roles a while back.
Most of you probably have no idea how some thoughtless comments on a forum can cause grief, pain and fear to intensify. Making hurtful comments, making assumptions, and taking sides does nothing to help anyone involved. It can only hurt someone, and is completely unnecessary (other than for sating a debased wish to feed on the suffering of others). Whatever happens does not concern you and will not be affected by you in any positive way.
So, pretty please, for the sake of all the people who are directly and indirectly affected by this story, STOP. SPECULATING.
I have (adult) friends who dance for fun, play with hula hoops, play with poi balls and lots of other things. There is nothing wrong with these things.
No clear management of any kind is a big problem, but the rest of what you say is, as you put it, pretty ridiculous.
This pervasive immaturity does tend to result in things going sour, and for some reason it always tends to happen in a very dramatic and public manner.
You contact a full internal investigation, and you do not issue any statements biased either way until you have full information from that investigation. At the end of the investigation, you either bring back the accused employees if they appear innocent, or lay them off if they appear guilty.
This is absolutely the right thing to do. I understand the Internet would like companies to go in with pitchforks before investigating. That is wrong. In the majority of discrimination cases, the accuser is wrong (for example, the accused is an equal-opportunity-asshole, but the accuser feels targeted). When the accuser is right, you want to know the level and details before acting in any irreversible way (and a public statement, aside from potentially being libel, is irreversible).
The Internet's attention span is the Internet's problem -- not github's.
Too many red flags in Julie's version. But I will wait for the complete story.
Having said that, seems that GitHub recognizes that they screwed up. The tone of their response seemed fair and balanced, and they acted fast by removing the folks involved. Too bad it got to this point, but it's a good sign.
Yeah, let's kill all the fun.
> You do not allow strangers to walk around the office
Except that she wasn't a stranger, she was the wife of a founder. Most old employees probably know her.
Not necessarily. I've worked at plenty of offices where spouses occasionally showed up, including mine. The problem is that she acts like she hold a position of authority.
I made a vague statement, but I think "reverting a commit" is definitely minimizing what she claims happened
I can not see it reasonable to fire employee for asking another one on date once, even if it was awkward and unexpected.
Maybe I'm weird, but I do not see it employers business to police relationships of their adult employees, as long as they do not cross the line described above.
I don't recall reading about an uninvited advance, so if this is something new you know about could you dump a citation here. I do recall a home visit which was 'awkward' and the offending party 'hesitated' to leave. That stuff happens, in and outside of work. Remember the parties here are emotionally invested and biased. We should not consider such details trivial, but they are considerably emotionally invested in this. The way it was phrased in the original article was he hesitated to leave. That's obviously up to the reader to interpret. Let's not dramatize that into an 'univited advance'.
No denying or spinning what happened, no victim blaming; just "we fucked up, we're going to do everything we can to fix it, and Julie is great". That's all I expect. Own up, fix the problem, and protect the victim.
Let's look at what Horvath claims:
> character started being discussed in inappropriate places like on pull requests and issues
It's unclear what exactly this means, and in most cases, bringing up someone's character in PRs is certainly inappropriate. Does it happen? Yes, it happens all the time, regardless of gender. A PR comment like "it's a bit naive to assume these conditions will be met in this instruction - please fix" is technically bringing up someone's character inappropriately. She never claimed (at least as quoted by TC) that sexist or intimidating things were brought up in PRs/issues - just that "character started being discussed".
> She calls her colleagues’ response to her own work and the work of other female GitHub employees a “serious problem.”
Again, pretty unclear. The response to her work MAY have had nothing to do with her gender or any kind of personal/social conflict, but rather based solely on performance. If such was the case, then I'd say colleagues tend to "respond" to other people's work all day long. I honestly can't say the "response" in this case was completely benign, but again, the article and direct quotes certainly don't seem to point at anything specific.
> she struggled to feel welcome.
This is a common feeling in pretty much any workplace or environment, regardless of who you are.
> she did her best to distance herself from the founder’s wife, as well as the founder, for fear of being caught up in an unhealthy situation.
This is mentioned before anything else regarding the founder or the founder's wife. It sounds like (at least the way it's presented in the article) some kind of animosity was felt even before any real interaction between the parties. That could be based on anything (including possibly Horvath's own prejudgement). The truth is we don't know because we aren't given any more details.
> almost immediately the conversation that I thought was supposed to be causal turned into something very inappropriate. She began telling me about how she informs her husband’s decision-making at GitHub, how I better not leave GitHub and write something bad about them, and how she had been told by her husband that she should intervene with my relationship to be sure I was ‘made very happy’ so that I wouldn’t quit and say something nasty about her husband’s company because ‘he had worked so hard.’... the wife went on to claim that she was responsible for hires at GitHub, and asked Horvath to explain to her what she was working on.
Just for sake of argument, here's a possible conversation that could be twisted into fitting the above description:
"Glad you could join us for drinks! My husband works hard to create an amazing workplace at GitHub, and even though I'm not a part of the company myself, I enjoy meeting the employees and want to help people feel welcome the best way I can. My husband told me you're fairly new... what is it you do? That's great. I just want to make sure you're very happy at GitHub. In some way, I feel responsible for helping make sure the company treats everyone well. If there's anything that could be better, I might be able to put in a word with him. The last thing they'd want is for you to have a bad experience and leave the company."
That's just an example of something I wouldn't be surprised to hear from a founder's spouse in a startup environment.
> The wife also claimed to employ “spies” inside of GitHub, and claimed to be able to, again according to Horvath, read GitHub employees’ private chat-room logs, which only employees are supposed to have access to
I agree this is definitely crossing a line, but of course the wife only "claimed" to have this access. That doesn't mean she does, and I could easily see it being said in a low voice (trying to win over someone's "exclusive" or "secret" friendly confidence) along the lines of:
"I'm not officially with GitHub, but I have ears. I try to keep close tabs on what employees are saying about the company in the chat rooms and company chit-chat."
The next few events are pretty vague. It includes rumors, a random profession of love (and rejection) outside the workplace (if she had a problem with trespassing, she should have called the cops; the male engineer's reaction at work - if true - should have been corrected by HR, but it sounds like it was never brought up to HR by Horvath as it should have been), Horvath "feeling threatened", and "the founder accus[ing] her of threatening his wife", followed by the wife "sitting close to Horvath". Lots of generalities.
Finally it bubbles to the point of Horvath claiming "The next thing I knew the wife was in my face at my work station verbally attacking me"
From my own experience, perfectly civil conversations can often be turned into "verbal attacks" later if it helps a person's case. I'm not saying that's what happened here, but the details are just so vague. What was the conversation about?
As for the hula hooping... you're telling me that two women hula hooping to music in the workplace is perfectly appropriate, but when the other people nearby (who are going to be mostly males if the majority of employees are male - go figure) suddenly notice, that's the inappropriate part? Really?
I certainly won't say that Horvath is making this stuff up, and it does sound like some inappropriate actions did occur and she should be upset. But I will say that based on the "evidence" presented in the TC article, GitHub is not guilty of all the claims "beyond a shadow of a doubt."
Your example cannot be twisted into a reasonable description of "very inappropriate".
Overall your comment reads like you don't want this story to be true and are trying to minimise every part of it. Which you are free to do, but you could have just said "I don't want this story to be true".
Frankly, my purpose in providing a plausible defense for GitHub is that the TechCrunch story itself only presents a single side of the story, though I understand that sometimes that's necessary for someone to come forward and draw the necessary attention to an injustice like this.
It is, however, easy to read the TechCrunch article and immediately point 100% of the blame on GitHub when we don't know the facts. I think it's helpful to step back and look at the accusations for what they are: accusations.
As others have pointed out, GitHub's response says very little in terms of confirming or denying the accusations, but it does say that they are professional enough to take this seriously.
Horvath may be doing GitHub (or various people at GitHub) a favor by going light on some details - the facts may be far worse than they appear on the surface. She (or the TechCrunch writers) may also be skimping on details in order to paint GitHub with broad strokes. There are numerous plausible motives in either case, but I won't speculate as to the motives here as I've learned it doesn't help to spread false accusations.
It isn't fair to accuse Horvath of being anything less than 100% truthful, and by the same token, it isn't fair to assume everything she said is 100% truthful without GitHub coming forward with their side of the story.
Again, I apologize for my comment earlier leading to speculation where we (as the public) really have no say in the matter since we have so few facts. It's an unfortunate situation for everyone involved and I hope it can be resolved in a positive way for both parties. For me, at least some of the followup comments here have been helpful in better understanding some of the ideas involved in this story - e.g., sexism, appropriate handling of conflicts in the workplace, roles of founders and spouses, etc (in general terms, not necessarily in connection with this story).
I would hope the men in question have enough self control to ignore women moving their bodies around. You are basically using the same logic as countries that require burqas in public. This has already been covered by feminist movements in this country. It is seriously a sign of how backwards the tech industry is in regards to social equality that this sort of basic stuff is missing from general knowledge.
Could you elaborate on this? In the work environments I've been in, people go to the gym or outside to work out. I've never been in a work environment where it's acceptable to do your exercising in the office space. What are you talking about -- yoga, bicep curls, jogging, jumping jacks? I've worked at extremely liberal companies but that kind of stuff doesn't happen..
> and they need to feel comfortable to do that without being turned into sex objects
I don't think it's a person's right to hula hoop in an office and then be upset when they attract the attention of the rest of the office, regardless of sex on both sides. It's an unusual thing to do, so it will draw eyes.
My workplace has people doing yoga and dance classes in meeting rooms over lunch.
And if you started hanging around the meeting rooms to ogle the people doing it you'd be having some conversations about your workplace behaviour.
There's no way to prove or disprove the fact that they were 'ogling' rather than merely watching though - Horvath's judgement was likely biased by how upset she was with everybody else's (fuck, mine would be if I'd been as epically shat on by an employer as she felt she had been) and we don't have any other data.
I've done some minor (sedentiary) exercises in the office. For something that requires a bit more space, I wouldn't do it next to someone's desk of course. I don't know what Githib's office layout is like, but the way I read the hula hooping, it sounded like it was outside, in a courtyard or roof terrace maybe, or in a recreation area.
> It's an unusual thing to do, so it will draw eyes.
There's still a big difference between attention and gawking.
I've seen plenty of other recreational activities in offices, like playing darts, pool, computer games, etc. I don't see hula hooping as particularly out of the ordinary. And gawking at your co-workers is just rude.
I think Julie should have spoken to both groups, telling the guys it's not cool to gawk at women, and tell the women if they want to hula hoop, do it some place more private.
Indeed. And just in case men still gawked at them, she could have brought some free niqab to work for them to wear.
The point of talking to the women isn't to help the men exercise better restraint (which extrapolated to an extreme would require a niqab).
It's that if the women are doing something in the office, out in the open that people stopping to watch would make other people feel uncomfortable, then perhaps it shouldn't be done out in plain view of everyone.
Like, if you are trying to have a private conversation with your Dr on the phone about your recent herpes outbreak, don't talk in the lunchroom and get pissed that I listened in.
We can come up with counter examples, and/or take things to the extreme, however my point is that exercising some restraint and a little professionalism would make situations like this non existent.
> If hula hooping women make you uncomfortable
It wasn't women hula hooping made someone feel uncomfortable.
It was men "gawking" at the women hula hooping, that made Julie Horvath feel uncomfortable.
I hope you understand the difference.
> If hula hooping women make you uncomfortable, that's unfortunate, but also totally your problem. Ditto breastfeeding and suchlike.
Tangentially related--another key point you're missing, this is an office.
No one should have to feel uncomfortable at the workplace, because the office is for people to work and be productive, not hula hoop.
Things like hula hooping (I'm guessing), yoga, tai chi, Zumba, etc, are there to improve worker productivity. If these programs run counter to that and actually hinder productivity by making some employees feel uncomfortable, then those programs may not be the right fit for the workplace.
I think you're wrong about that.
What about religious fundamentalists uncomfortable with gay people?
What about conservatives uncomfortable with breastfeeding?
What about chauvinists uncomfortable with women in leadership positions?
There is no right to 'not feel uncomfortable'. There is no right to 'not to feel offended'.
What you have to do is choose who you are going to offend.
But the point is that hula-hooping, or shirtless weight-lifting, shouldn't be prohibited just because some people gawk and others are made uncomfortable.
If you want to sexualise hula-hooping or weight-lifting, fine, just don't use that point of view as the basis of a complaint.
* many were; it's just he was the guy I was thinking of for this example
You believe it's okay for people to be at the office without their shirts on?
Where do you draw the line-- what behaviors should be prohibited at the office, simply because they might make others uncomfortable?
I've seen yoga, weights, and those things you compress, basically stuff to get the blood flowing again. Hoola hooping is probably a bit more admittedly, but not that extreme. Especially since it sounds like it was happening outside.
> I don't think it's a person's right to hula hoop in an office and then be upset when they attract the attention of the rest of the office, regardless of sex on both sides. It's an unusual thing to do, so it will draw eyes.
You are missing the point. Horvath wasn't the one hoola hooping. She was a bystander, and the gawking was making her feel uncomfortable because it implies a work environment where it is ok to sexually objectify your co-workers (or that seems to be how she took it). But this is an(other) HR failure.
What? This is a case where two people did something unusual in a work environment and garnered the attention of their coworkers. That's expected. It's unexpected that you think it necessarily implies sexual objectification.
Go stand in the middle of your office tomorrow and hoola hoop. Whatever sex you are, and whatever sex your coworkers are, I promise you'll get looks for long enough to be considered gawking :) If you choose to complain to HR that you were sexually objectified, well, that's up to you.
I'm not saying it Wasn't sexual objectification, just that to gawk at something unusual in the office doesn't necessarily imply sexual objectification.
Did this ever say it was in their office? All it said was they were hula-hooping to some music and the response from the bench-full of male employees was embarrassing. If it were outdoors, it wouldn't be unusual.
Either way, in what world do you see something out of the ordinary — but not strange — happening at work and line up to gawk at it?
> It's unexpected that you think it necessarily implies sexual objectification.
It's certainly possible for a bench-full of 20-something programmers to sexually objectify someone. Julie was made to feel uncomfortable, and since she's the best eye witness to the event we've got, there's no reason to doubt her testimony.
Not everything needs to be picked apart. Sometimes, if a bunch of guys are gawking at women, that's what they're doing. You don't need to stick up for them.
Yes, but that testifies only to her personal feelings at that moment, which are not the definitive measure stick for anything.
Congratulations, you've decided to not look at out of the ordinary things for fear of implications of sexual objectification.
But me -- if weird stuff happens in or outside of my office, I'm gonna watch.
> It's certainly possible for a bench-full of 20-something programmers to sexually objectify someone
My last comment said "I'm not saying it Wasn't sexual objectification,"
> Julie was made to feel uncomfortable, and since she's the best eye witness to the event we've got, there's no reason to doubt her testimony
The number of witnesses has no bearing on the truth, validity or bias of the statement given by one witness.
> You don't need to stick up for them
I'm not. I'm saying it's too early for those of you championing Julie to get your pitchforks out.
If you are hula hooping out in the open, I don't think it's fair to expect people to look away, no more than it is to expect people to look away if you were playing the hula hoop minigame in Wii Fit.
Gawking and making people feel uncomfortable = bad. Watching coworkers make fools of themselves = priceless.
> You are basically advocating the position of countries that require burqas in public.
Slippery Slope My Friend, Slippery Slope.
But the OP's comment: "As for the hula hooping... you're telling me that two women hula hooping to music in the workplace is perfectly appropriate, but when the other people nearby (who are going to be mostly males if the majority of employees are male - go figure) suddenly notice, that's the inappropriate part? Really?".
Is the part that bothered me, they are implying that the inappropriate part is the women hoola hooping. The logic there that I have a problem with is that it's the women's fault for being attractive, and that the man isn't at as much fault for being attracted to it because the women are doing something attractive.
Which is the same logic used to enforce burqa laws. I'm not saying the OP's thinking will lead to burqas or anything, merely that it's the same axiomatic view of the world. Basically, I never invoked a slippery slope, I was drawing a parallel in axioms.
As an example on an actual slippery slope, to argue against gay marriage and say then people will marry dogs! It's implying that because we are going to change marriages definition it will just change to anything. When in actuality we have a specific argument based off of axioms of equality that lead us to the conclusion that marriage should be between two consenting adults. An argument similar to the one I made would be: "The same logic that lets different races marry also means we should let similar genders marry".
How about it's nobody's fault because there is nothing fucking wrong about people doing something in public and others watching them???
However, because Horvath was already in a very upset emotional state about man-woman issues at GitHub and her own situation at the company, she was in a position to read a lot of meaning into this situation that most people wouldn't.
I totally agree with this.
It's akin to people saying things like "...asked to be assaulted because she was at the club/dressed provacatively/is a flirt."
What isn't clear is if the hulahoopers felt uncomfortable, or was it just Horvath. Again speculating wildly, I wonder if she is more sensitive to gender issues (perhaps even classified as overly sensitive)?
What are you even talking about? People find each other attractive. Most commonly between sexes. It happens in workplaces. Get over it.
"What I did have a problem with is the line of men sitting on one bench facing the hoopers and gawking at them"
But it's important to remember these could go the other way as well. Horvath may still feel some loyalty to github and be sugar coating these events. Or you could be right and she is blowing them out of proportion.
Noone is saying that women shouldn't be hula-hooping, we're just saying that it's not wrong for others (men included) to watch them if they do.
You, on the other hand, are saying that men should avert their gazes to avoid making women uncomfortable, which is much closer to the burqa logic, albeit with genders reversed.
Admittedly we only have Horvath's version, and to be fair she was dealing with two (three?) other people who were apparently completely out of line.
I'm saying both genders should be to do some hoola hooping with no one feeling like anyone is being sexually objectified. There are comments in this little subthread about how people think this whole little episode is ridiculous regardless of genders. Those are the people who work in environments where they feel safe to do these things, the fact that Horvath apparently didn't is a problem, whether caused by github in general, or specific people with in it, the jury is still out.
But my point was that this event can not be marginalized due to the logic that it's not the men's fault because the women were being seductive. It can be subject to scrutiny because of the personal feelings involved.
> You are basically using the same logic as countries that require burqas in public.
Of course, because saying that "if you do attention-attracting activities in public, people are going to look, deal with it" is the same as saying "women must cover themselves head to toe in public."
A bystander gets no such luxury, and if the concern is an intrusive thought which makes them feel threatened... then maybe they're not suitably mature to participate in social endeavors.
It seems like a pretty reasonable (albeit one-sided) complaint except for this one point - but the fact that she was threatened by that, casts some small measure of doubt on the plausible sanity of rest of the thing.
If women are doing something that involves a lot of pelvic gyrations, then yes, it is absolutely understandable AND acceptable that men will stare. It's not the men turning them into "sex objects" or whatever, the women already did that. And it's healthy, and normal, and most red-blooded men and women not only find it acceptable, they enjoy it. If you have the mindset that if women are dancing a man may only glance at it for a few seconds, I pity you and whatever caused you to turn out that way.
And this was at a party. If someone is so repressed that watching men stare at dancing women at a party makes them uncomfortable, they should stay home. Or move to a burqa-wearing country.
More to the point:
Yes because women moving their hips means they automatically want to be considered for their sexual characteristics. /sarcasm
Admittedly, if this was at a party and they were hula hooping then sure no problem at all. But just because a person moves their body around in an office doesn't mean they are looking for sexual partners! It's not that "a man may only glance at it for a few seconds". It's that in some environments (like office ones) they should have the self control to not care what other people are doing with their bodies.
> Yes because women moving their hips means they automatically want to be considered for their sexual characteristics. /sarcasm
Actually, yes, they do. If you don't know this then either you're very inexperienced with women or you're the kind of guy they willingly keep in the dark about what they want.
> why is it that women find the need to flaunt their "sexual characteristic" at a workplace party (or any party for that matter)?
Women, men, children - everyone likes attention. The best kind of attention for a sexually mature person is sexual attention from a person that they desire. To display yourself at your best and be appreciated by someone you like is one of the best feelings there is. Not that you would know anything about that, the best feeling you've had was while watching "pron".
> Is this behavior common among women of all cultures?
Yes (duh). In fact, it is also pervasive among animals and even insects. I know, I know, who'd have thought?
> Has it been common throughout the ages?
> Is it a result of women's peculiar biology or perhaps of another mysterious dynamics?
Only someone who calls themselves "pron" would think this is in any way peculiar. To not desire attention from the opposite sex (let's leave homosexuals out of this for now) would be extremely peculiar.
> Is this practice commonly regarded as pleasant among human females?
See answer #1. Being appreciated feels good. People like to feel good. You do the math, genius.
> And what is it exactly that they want if they hope to achieve it with this colorful behavior
Anything ranging from the momentary pleasure of being appreciated, to finding somebody to love and spend the rest of their life with.
> I once heard that human females may want a stable male partner to help rear their young;
You haven't heard the half of it, son. What human females ideally want is a man who will provide the best genes for their offspring and be the best provider. Such a combination being rather rare, often females try to secure a gene-donor and provider separately. Typically, maladjusted men like you, who are, to put it kindly, not attractive to women, end up in the role of provider, and the desirable men get to have their offspring raised by the clueless providers.
> is this "hula-hooping at a party" the best evolutionary strategy to obtain that goal?
Replace "hula-hooping at a party" with "showcasing their assets" and even you should be able to figure it out. Push up bras, high heels, corsets, hoop skirts, dancing, anything that tends to attract the attention of the opposite sex, helps to attract the best mate possible.
Any further questions? Although I don't even know why I'm trying at this point. Something about horses and water comes to mind.
EDIT to answer the question you added later:
> Also, males of lesser species often display their buttocks prominently to attract females. Is this accepted behavior among humans, too?
As a matter of fact, women love muscular legs and buttocks on a man. The far more common "massive upper body, scrawny legs" physique isn't nearly as attractive to women. Strong legs are an excellent indicator of overall strength and good genes; in many primitive tribes, people explicitly desire "strong legs" in a mate. Even in older English literature you'll often find statements like "the lines of his/her legs showed good breeding" and so on.
Displaying the bare buttocks would normally get a man put in jail, so not in public, no. However, many men do the second-best thing by wearing form-fitting clothing. And women love it. Not too tight, though, that tends to attract the wrong kind of attention.
> Is it common practice at GitHub?
I seriously doubt whether anyone at GitHub does the kind of training necessary to build strong legs and glutes, so I doubt it. However, you can see this behaviour on display in other environments, like the gym, the beach, etc.
Your answers to the questions are actually quite wrong. Women flaunting sexual characteristics in a professional environment is neither common today, nor has it been common in the West throughout the ages. You clearly confuse sexual desire with when and how people pursue it, you are completely blind to social pressure, and unaware of the nuances of sex (most importantly you're confusing sex with sexuality). I fear that if you don't get that long due spanking soon you have some serious lawsuits awaiting you in the future, and possibly some jail time, especially if you keep taking sexual cues from insects.
Perhaps it may seem baffling to your juvenile mind, but I adopted my screen name over twenty years ago, well before the internet, and back when it was just my acronym and had no other uses whatsoever.
Explain to me what "ages" have had a "professional environment". The "professional environment" you speak of has only arisen in the last century or so, if that.
Why do you think male attention deserves jail time? Did you try to pay a woman a compliment once and did it so clumsily that she called security? Memories like that can be hard to get over, I imagine.
> Women flaunting sexual characteristics in a professional environment is neither common today
Of course not, like hula-hooping at an office party, or wearing a nice suit or dress, or high heels. But again, perhaps you've only ever worked with aforementioned sweatpant- and sneaker-wearers.
> nor has it been common in the West throughout the ages
Right... no man in the West ever seduced (or got seduced by) his secretary or female co-worker. You must live a remarkably sheltered life.
> You clearly confuse sexual desire with when and how people pursue it
You clearly have no clue that people pursue sex whenever they can, as much as they can get away with despite your "social pressures." I wonder why... could it be that you are remarkably unattractive?
> you are completely blind to social pressure
I'm not the "completely blind" one here....
> I fear that if you don't get that long due spanking soon you have some serious lawsuits awaiting you in the future, and possibly some jail time
Don't worry "pron," unlike you, I'm always aware of when my attention and advances are desired or not. Your mother clearly knew you were hopeless and just told you to not even try, ever.
> especially if you keep taking sexual cues from insects.
Really? You're going to just make stuff up now? Saying that insects display sexual behaviour === taking sexual cues from insects?
> Perhaps it may seem baffling to your juvenile mind, but I adopted my screen name over twenty years ago, well before the internet, and back when it was just my acronym and had no other uses whatsoever.
Well, good for you! It's strangely prophetic and very apt, if that's true.
If you're old enough to have chosen your username 20 years ago there's no hope for you and I've really been wasting my time. I did in fact think you were a clueless younger guy. Bye now.
Your comment reads very, very predatory.
It's surprising to me that a lot of comments here are jumping to conclusions that can't be drawn from the lack of facts.
The parts that did seem clearly gender-related to me were the coworker who replaced her code after she turned him down, and the thing about hula hooping. Those do indicate a serious failure to make a good workplace culture. But so far, that problem looks separate from her conflict with the founder and his wife.
Speculating wildly here: perhaps they were/are swingers?
But in either case she shouldn't have to feel that way about people in the company. The reason she likely feels different is because of her gender, and the way the founder and his wife treated her because of her gender.
But there are potential explanations of situations in which anyone would be uncomfortable and not just Horvath.
The founder getting his wife involved made a serious mistake. Agreed with most everyone else here, the CEO made the right call.
I'm now trying to understand though, what precipitated this whole mess. Julie talks about github as a "boys-club" culture and that her character was under attack in pull requests and issues, but doesn't give any more details.
Julie talks about passive aggressive behavior from a coworker, but this was while her ordeal with one of the founders was going on.
So what triggered this collapse?
First of all, the main theme that resonates with me is that no company is immune to these things no matter how much "special" or "different" they are.
At this point, I don't completely accept everything Horvath is saying nor do I believe what she is saying is all lies. The truth as is always the case is never black and white. What I do accept is that there is definitely serious issues that need to be taken a look at that have been brought up.
Github did not need to respond and I believe they responded quite well. There response cannot be point by point rebuttal or a statement of denial.
It's a measured response stating that they are taking action to look into the issues. Putting a founder on leave is a major decision and sends the message to Github's employees and the rest of the community that they are taking this seriously. My takeaway from the response was recognition that Horvath's assertions are with weight and they will not shy away from investigation.
There is no doubt that Horvath's assertions have made Github deal with this. Having a founder be involved would likely have swept all of this under the rug.
I commend Horath's for speaking out. I am certain it wasn't an easy decision and very painful.
I also commend Github for having the CEO write this response instead of hiding behind a shield of legalese.
I do believe something will come out from this for the positive. There are too many great people within Github that do not need to be there that will now have an opportunity to take a reality check and assess for themselves Horvath's claims and drive for change.
The founder may be the most in the hot seat. Github may use this as the "last straw" of many straws that may have been already bulging at the camel's back to exit the founder.