The sexist underbelly of Silicon Valley is being exposed as a number of senior executives, including Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, and more recently Binary Capital’s co-founder Justin Caldbeck have been removed from their own businesses following allegations of sexual harassment and sexist behaviour.
Caldbeck was removed after it was found that he had been involved in, ” unwanted advances,” towards female workers and had even groped a female employee. After the fact, a former colleague made a public statement that Caldbeck had been involved in similar behaviour at his previous firm, which culminated in his removal from his role as a board observer.
Binary now seems to be on its last legs, with the allegations making the business a pariah in the investment world, and start-ups that have been funded by Binary are now publicly asking to buy their own shares back.
Meanwhile, on the east coast, the New York Times has published a piece on a few of the whistleblowers from these and other businesses in Silicon Valley. It all points to a disturbing pattern, which many are blaming on the high testosterone, male dominated start-up culture that has now found its way into larger businesses.
Uber employees say that the culture in the rideshare business never changed from when it was a small business, through to when it’s current state as a multi-billion dollar multinational corporation. The fearlessness and aggressive behaviour that made Kalanick and his small team so brilliant as a start-up organisation seems to have echoed through to his personal life, and some are suggesting that the success created an element of megalomania.
The fact that so many women are now coming out and complaining of historical events that they were afraid to speak about before, shows the depth of the problem in the global tech capital. Facebook, Google, and Apple have all acknowledged the shortage of females at the top of their organisational structures, and most have chosen to adopt rigorous human resources policies to ensure everyone is treated equally and with dignity and respect. While many will be concerned as to who will be next to be outed for sexual harassment, most will be relieved that this problem is being solved, and those who are guilty of this deplorable treatment are being removed from the ranks of leadership in companies that are making a difference.