Subscribers Say Voluntary Steps Alone Won’t Stop Sexism in Tech

Source: The Information

Gender bias and harassment are so pervasive in Silicon Valley that voluntary measures wouldn’t sufficiently address the problem, said more than three-fourths of respondents to The Information’s latest subscriber survey. An even larger share of respondents, 83%, said that the technology industry’s culture needs to change to combat sexism and harassment.

Some tech executives signed on to pledges committing to rooting out harassment after The Information broke the news in June of allegations of inappropriate conduct by a venture capitalist. Women’s rights advocates and others in the technology industry have praised voluntary measures as an important step toward recognizing the persistence of harassment and the industry’s lack of diversity. But some have suggested that pledges will fall short until women are better represented in technology and victims of harassment have more legal avenues available to address claims.

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Writing in an op-ed in The Information last month, two experts on bias issues noted that employment laws that prohibit sexual harassment don’t apply to non-employee business relationships. But other statutes such as civil rights laws  is forbidden under federal and state employment laws, those statues don’t govern business  

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