Sexual Harassment

  • Once a client asked me to sit on his lap if he wanted to buy my products. My company didn't do anything about it when i told my boss so unfortunately I asked to be taken off that client but it's not like they can fire the client.
  • I had a fellow VC sending me flowers, gifts, even a mix-tape, over the course of several months. Another portfolio CEO asked me to go through a door first so he could "watch me walk" and my superiors at the firm told me to laugh it off. I also had another VC tell me likes married women and put his hand on mine. (I'm married)
  • Example: I was propositioned by a hiring manager early in my career when I was a job candidate. He clearly indicated that if I slept with him, he would make sure I was promoted as his 'second in command' as he moved up the ladder in the company. I was lucky to have the option to reject the offer.
  • Unwanted sexual advances were far more common when I was in my 20s and early 30s than today.
  • Experiences included being groped by my boss while in public at a company event. After learning this had happened to other women in my department, and then reporting the event to HR, I was retaliated against and had to leave the company.
  • The first time I travelled with a new CEO he made an advance. I turned him down. After that, I was never asked to travel with him again. This impacted my ability to do my job.
  • Colleagues Behaving Badly:

  • So many...recently, I attended a VC firm's conference where they required one group of people to strip to their underwear and swim in a lake. The men all got naked and jumped right in. But the women? So devastating.
  • So many! E.g., at CES a VC who told me how committed he is to NVCA diversity task force in the next moment discusses what strip club he's going to with another VC. CEOs call the females in their companies "girls." All the analogies made about business relationships to "dating". All the assumptions that the next new hire is a "guy who will..." Booth babes at trade shows, tacky ads and commercials.
  • Have you ever been to computex? the women don't wear much.
  • Company off-sites and industry conferences are hot beds of sexist activity, from excluding female colleagues from guy outings (e.g., golf, skiing) to drunken sexually charged conversations to late night searches for hook ups. For example, during an investors/CEO meeting in Jackson Hole, the men at the meeting were planning the ski day and they projected an assumption I was not going to be able to keep up. I kicked their asses on the slope the next day. Suddenly, my brand equity improved.
  • At a work party for a conference, the hosting company had women acrobats that were wearing very few clothes - mostly paint.

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