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Harassed in the Silicon Valley? You’re not the only one

Many victims of sexual harassment are reluctant to step forward. You may feel like you’re the only one facing such a difficult employment situation, and it’s intimidating to confront injustice alone.

Here is the good news: You are not alone at all. A survey of more than 200 female employees in the Silicon Valley led to some startling statistics: 90 percent had personally seen sexist behaviors in their workplaces. Approximately 60 percent had been subjected to unwelcome sexual advances on the job.

San Francisco attorney Therese Lawless says that her firm’s phones have been ringing nonstop lately, with more and more women stepping forward to report gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

According to The Guardian, here are just a few of the numerous brave women who have recently ventured to fight back against the injustices they endured:

  • Ellen Pao, whose name has become something of a household word in the Silicon Valley, accused a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins of sexual harassment. She reports that her accusations prompted retaliation in the workplace, leading to her being left out of meetings and passed over for promotions.
  • Chia Hong, a project manager for Facebook, reports that she was both harassed and discriminated against at work. She alleges that management even suggested that she should quit and become a stay-at-home mother.
  • AJ Vandermeyden, an engineer at Tesla, claims that the company paid her less than male colleagues, ignored her for promotions and fired her for talking to the press. She adds that Tesla also failed to address the frequent catcalls and other forms of sexual harassment to which she was subjected.
  • Susan Fowler, an engineer at Uber, claims that as soon as she was hired, her manager wasted no time looking her up on the company chat tool and asking her for sex.
  • Elizabeth Scott, an employee of UploadVR, accused the startup’s founders of paying women less than men and indulging in highly unprofessional sexual behavior at work. She claims they even went so far as to set up a “kink room” in the office – complete with a bed.

If you are considering the possibility of filing a sexual harassment or discrimination claim against your Silicon Valley employer, remember that you are in good company. Many other women have walked in your shoes and can personally relate to your situation. You certainly don’t stand alone.

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