Y’all. I’m so pissed off right now. This situation has shown that, in the tech industry, as a woman, I’m basically a second class citizen and things that happen to either me or other women are deemed not worth addressing by the companies that employ us. Here is some background:
About a month and a half ago, one of the first female developers at Github, Julie Ann Horvath, left. She cited rather intense harassment from both one of her coworkers and a co-founder’s wife as the main reasons for her leaving (read her interview with TechCruch here). I believe what she says 100%. Sure, there might be some slight differences from reality (we all remember things *slightly* different from how they happen), but I think, in general, everything she said happened, happened. Why? She has no reason to lie. She’s not looking for money from Github and the only thing this is likely to do is damage her career. She has absolutely nothing to gain by speaking the truth. I don’t know that I would’ve had the courage to speak the truth if I was in her situation. So that happened. At first Github addressed the issue well (see the other co-founder’s response here). I had moderate hopes that their investigation wouldn’t end the way it did. Then yesterday happened.
Github posted that “the investigation found no evidence of gender-based discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or abuse.” Basically, they are saying that she lied, because there is no way that what she described is not all of the above. Then Tom Preston-Warner blogs about his new venture, threatening to sue if anymore “false claims” come up. These lines are the most terrifying part of his post:
That said, I want to be very clear about one thing: neither my wife, Theresa, nor I have ever engaged in gender-based harassment or discrimination. The results of GitHub’s independent investigation unequivocally confirm this and we are prepared to fight any further false claims on this matter to the full extent of the law.
So basically, their investigation (that never actually involved Julie, she was never questioned) cleared him and Julie must have lied. OF COURSE the “independent investigation” (ie paid for by Github) absolved them of any liability and cleared the wealthy, white, male founder and pushed his former, female employee under the bus. Then threatens to sue if she keeps talking. As Ellen Chisa says, this sends a message to other women: unless you are very well known and have a ton of Twitter followers, you are just going to get screwed over when you try to speak up against harassment, so don’t bother. GREAT MESSAGE GUYS!
Then Tom’s wife writes a post on Medium about how she just viewed GitHubbers and her friends and never meant to intimidate them or force them to work for free. That is the most naive thing I’ve ever read (if it’s true). If you are the wife of the CEO, the employees will not feel like they have a choice to get coffee with you or not, if asked. Or like they have a choice to do work for you or not, if asked. They are not your friends… they are your husband’s employees who, most likely, can be fired at-will. Yeah, they definitely have a choice about whether or not to help you out or not.
UGH. I guess that’s enough for now. I’ve got one more article to link to and a recommendation that you move all your code to BitBucket or (even better) self host using GitLab.
Musa Okwonga: "GitHub: sexism, bullying, harassment, and a curiously clean sweep." okwonga.com/?p=1013
I think my favourite GG plot hole is when nate and chuck ride the bus
xoxo Gossip Dan
Lol that would never happen.