What’s Next for Tech Companies?
Tech companies are facing a barrage of lawsuits alleging sexual harassment and discrimination, with a slew of lawsuits filed in the past few weeks.
The lawsuits allege that companies are using false or misleading marketing materials to try to convince prospective customers that they are a safe, inclusive environment for women.
In a letter to CEOs last week, the U.S. Department of Labor accused tech companies of using “untruthful” and “inaccurate” marketing tactics to recruit and retain female employees.
While the letter did not specify how many women were being sexually harassed or discriminated against, the Labor Department said that companies had recruited, promoted and hired women for roles ranging from junior to senior managers and executives.
Many of the complaints are from women working in the technology industry.
They include claims of sexual harassment, sexual assault and other gender-based discrimination.
Many women in tech are now speaking out.
As TechCrunch previously reported, TechCrunch and others are launching a #MeToo campaign that is targeting female employees who have been the targets of harassment and sexual assault.
This week, Techcrunch and BuzzFeed released a series of stories detailing how female employees had faced harassment and intimidation at work.
Some of the stories include accounts of a female engineer who said she was told to “be quiet” about her sexual orientation, a male software engineer who was told he was a “man bitch” and another female software engineer told BuzzFeed that a senior colleague “was trying to kiss her while she was working.”
In the past, tech companies have tried to tamp down their public image and have been forced to make changes.
Last month, Apple changed its corporate culture after more than 100 female engineers complained that they were routinely sexually harassed at work and in the workplace.
It also recently announced changes to how its new social media platform, Instagram, works to curb harassment.
The tech industry is facing increasing pressure from women, who are increasingly being held back from tech careers and are forced to work outside the traditional workplace.
According to the National Women’s Law Center, nearly half of the tech industry’s female employees are under the age of 40 and nearly one-third of the industry’s workforce is female.