Tesla's diversity panel uncovers more tales of Silicon Valley sexism

From Engadget - July 5, 2017

On International Women's Day, Tesla invited female staff to an essential oils "lunch and learn," but then changed the meeting to one on diversity after employees expressed some criticism. The diversity panel included six male employees and one female, according to The Guardian's sources. When it came time for attendee comment, more than 20 women used the opportunity to share stories of sexual harassment, mistreatment and unfair promotion decisions. Vandermeyden was at the meeting, yet was fired shortly thereafter. "They just want to absolutely crush anyone who speaks up," Vandermeyden told The Guardian. "I spoke up, and I was made a sacrificial lamb for it. It's a scary precedent."

Technology companies have been under fire lately for a string of high-profile sexual discrimination lawsuits lately, including Uber, Magic Leap, Konami and Tinder. Uber has since investigated the problem, firing more than 20 employees for harassment, while Magic Leap settled its own case. Tesla has since denied Vandermeyden's claims, saying that they "have not been substantiated." As more women in the company speak up, however, it will likely be harder for Tesla to maintain this stance. We have reached out to Tesla for an official response to this story and will update it as necessary.


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