• Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Women in Silicon Valley Experience Discrimination

career woman
Iqbal Ramadhan
January15/ 2016

Silicon Valley is a heaven for those who dream working in giant techno company. Facebook, Apple, Google, Twitter are a haven to be working for. Behind every beautiful dream, there is always a nightmare. Especially for a woman who want to build her career there. Trae Vassalo, Ellen Levy and Michele Madansky conducted a survey which came with shocking result. About 60 percent of women who worked in Silicon Valley experienced sexual harassment. The majority of women said that they sometimes witnessed it, meanwhile the men didn’t know at all or even unaware.

They did the survey after handling a case between Ellen Pao and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). That case was startle and media called it as “Elephant in the Valley.” On the case, Ellen sued KPCB because they had done a gender discrimination and sexual harassment. The beginning of the case started when Ellen ended her affair with one of Ellen’s colleague in that office. Her colleague didn’t accept Ellen’s decision to end their relationship. He did a retaliation, discriminating and threatening her career.

According to their survey, 90 percent of 220 women whom was interviewed said that they often saw a sexual harassment in the work place. As a matter of fact, 87 percent of them they had been discriminated and offended their dignity. Based on the age, they conducted the survey to the women who was 40 years  and older. Three from four women even had children and one in four women were top manager.

The majority of women whom they were interviewed working in giant techno company such as Google and Apple and several companies that took a place in Silicon Valley and San Fransisco. Vassalo reported another fact that 39 persen who had a bad experience with harassment, didn’t want to report it. Among 30 percent, just wanted to forget it. More than 60 percent were unsatisfied with the penalty that had been given to the “suspect”.

Even in the interview session before they worked, 75 percent women felt uncomfortable when company asked about their private life such as family, marital status and children. There were 40 percent of them who didn’t want to share their private life and 52 percent women chose to cut short the maternity leave so it wouldn’t jeopardize their career.

Iqbal Ramadhan

Graduated from UNPAD International Relations Post Graduate Program. Having a passion in social studies, journalism, security studies and cyber risk.