Silicon Valley Tech Startup Bro Won’t Hire Women Because of Paid Maternity Leave, But Stripper Parties Are OK
In case you wondered if sexism was still alive and well.
To invoke Parks and Rec‘s Perd Hapley, “The thing about this news… is that it isn’t new.” Sexism in the tech industry is not a foreign concept; over the years, there’s been a lot of news coverage dedicated to the gender disparity within the vast majority of Silicon Valley’s emerging tech startup companies. Three years ago, the New York Times published a story revealing that most women tend to hold business roles within the tech industry, and those women who do work in tech only make up anywhere between 2 and 4% of staff numbers.
An oft-cited problem is the fact that the tech industry seems to be significantly lagging behind when it comes to the gender gap among their employees; many women have discussed facing sexism in the workplace and a toxic work environment that almost certainly contributes to why there are so few of them in this particular field.
If you didn’t think it could get any worse, there’s reportedly at least one tech startup company that appears to be discriminating in their hiring practices as well. On the /r/legaladvice subreddit, user fjfilin, who describes himself as the founder of a technology company, posted a thread about whether or not there could be any legal ramifications for throwing a “stripper party” for his employees:
OH MY GOD. SV startup that won't hire women because they might get pregnant is looking to throw "stripper" party. pic.twitter.com/dMe3VDhuGU
— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) September 1, 2016
According to fjfilin, the party was a suggestion made by his male employees as a reward for a positive sales performance, and when one user inquired about how many women the company currently employed, this is what he responded with:
As of now we have 16 people, excluding myself. Officially: I hire the best candidate for the job. Unofficially: unfortunately California is one of the only states that requires paid maternity leave for female employees, making female employees quite a risk for smaller businesses.
It may behoove this tech bro to know that while California does require paid maternity leave for female employees, the law (referred to as “family leave”) actually applies to both men and women—so technically, his argument about female employees being more of a financial liability doesn’t fly here. At this point it just looks like he’s making up excuses not to hire more women so he can throw his bro-ployees a stripper party—and the only real concern he has about that is whether or not the cops might show up to break up the fun.
While further details about fjfilin’s identity—and the company he’s founded—are still a mystery as of this posting, it’s stories like this that contribute towards fostering the ongoing workplace discrimination within the tech industry–and continue to make it a difficult place for any woman to break into.
(image via Shutterstock)
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