Why sexual harassment is more of a problem in venture capital

    By: Clair Fuller on Jul 16, 2017

    Joan C. Williams writes, "The only thing that surprises me about the recent furor over sexual harassment by Silicon Valley venture capitalists is that people are surprised. We have been watching these stories go viral for a long time. When I give speeches in Silicon Valley about gender bias, I can’t tell you how many times female entrepreneurs have shared their stories with me about being treated by venture capitalists (VCs) as sexual opportunities rather than investment opportunities.

    It’s ironic that my whole life lately seems to be spent explaining why the college-educated elite should not dismiss the concerns of white working-class voters on the grounds that those 'rednecks' are sexist and otherwise deplorable. Turns out elites can be sexist, too.

    Sexual harassment is prevalent among VCs because of the hard-driving bro culture that confuses the pursuit of money with the pursuit of masculinity. Work becomes a masculinity contest (to borrow Jennifer Berdahl’s term) in which men become obsessed with showing that theirs is the biggest — the biggest deal, the longest hours, the most money. 'Someone’s **** is always bigger,'remarked a businessman, about to take off on his private plane, who spotted a Gulfstream V owned by a friend. When masculinity is the metric of success, hitting on women is just another way to keep score."


    Released: July 16, 2017, 11:22 am
    Keywords: NAWL News

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