According to a recent report from Women Who Tech, over 40% of women who work in the technology industry have reported experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace from a boss or investor. Despite the #MeToo movement’s progress, many women in the technology industry still face hostile work environments and toxic work cultures. Sexual harassment makes it more difficult for women to succeed in a disproportionately male industry.
Sexual Harassment is an Ongoing Problem
According to the report, 45% of female tech employees who experienced sexual harassment had reported the experience to someone in a senior leadership position. In 2017, 55% of those surveyed who experienced sexual harassment reported the incident to senior leadership. One of the potential reasons for the decline in people reporting sexual harassment could be that women do not have faith in their human resources departments. Of those surveyed, 67% of women said they did not trust how their tech company would handle sexual harassment allegations if they reported their harassers.
Sexual Harassment of Female Technology Founders
The problem of sexual harassment in the tech industry is not limited to low-level employees. 44% of women surveyed who were founders of tech companies stated that they had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Of the women founders who experienced harassment, 40% reported that the harassment came from an investor in their company. Many of the surveyed women reported that they had experienced an investor propositioning them for sex in exchange for providing introductions to other investors and investment funding.
The report shed light on other serious issues. Approximately 50% of women tech company founders had been told that they would raise more money for their companies if they were men. Additionally, 55% of tech founders said they felt they received different treatment when raising funds for their companies because of their gender. Some women reported being told that they should not report their age if they were over 30 because they would be less likely to receive investments.
Have You Faced Sexual Harassment in the Technology Industry?
Alabama is home to multiple tech startup companies, such as Tombigbee Communications, Spur, NXTsoft, Joonko, Wyndy, and others. Alabama’s business-friendly policies make the state appealing for tech entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, as evidenced by the reports discussed above, sexual harassment of women is commonin the tech industry. If you have experienced sexual harassment at an Alabama technology company, you have options. Sexual harassment is unlawful in Alabama, and you may have the right to file a lawsuit against your employer. Even if you are not sure you are ready to file a lawsuit, it is wise to discuss your case with an attorney, so you are aware of your options.
Sexual harassment includes any type of sexually-based action, joke, or material. Unlawful sexual harassment in the workplace can consist of pornographic images, slurs, sexual innuendos, sexual jokes, and any actions related to sex. Whether you have experienced these types of sexual harassment personally or observed a co-worker sexually harass another co-worker, you may be entitled to file a legal claim.
Types of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
There are two main types of sexual harassment. The first type of sexual harassment is quid pro quo sexual harassment. Quid pro quo sexual harassment involves an employer making a decision regarding your employment based on your submitting to sexual harassment. For example, a manager could tell an employee that he will demote her if she does not engage in sexual favors with him. Anytime an employer makes an employment decision based on the sexual actions of his or her employee, quid pro quo sexual harassment is occurring.
Creating a hostile work environment is another type of sexual harassment that is unlawful in Alabama. When sexual harassment makes the tech workplace environment intimidating or offensive to a reasonable person, the employer has allowed a hostile work environment to occur. It is important to note that even if you are working from home for a tech company, you can still be subjected to a hostile work environment. For example, if a co-worker continues to message you pornographic images, that may constitute a hostile work environment.
Contact an Alabama Sexual Harassment Lawyer
Have you been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace? If so, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. Contact Heninger Garrison Davis today to schedule your free initial consultation.