Sexual Harassment Goes High-Tech

Santa Monica, one of the homes of Silicon Beach
Santa Monica, one of the homes of Silicon Beach

The HBO show Silicon Valley depicts the tech industry up north as a boys' club where the women are smarter but objectified nonetheless. Of course, much of the show is filmed here in L.A. And it turns out Los Angeles is no stranger to tech industry misogyny. In fact, the story is worse in Silicon Beach and beyond.

Santa Monica-based compensation and workplace culture firm Comparably recently asked more than 5,000 tech workers from coast to coast if they've been sexually harassed on-the-job.

"Los Angeles had the highest percentage, with 15 percent of employees saying they have been sexually harassed at work," a spokeswoman for the firm said.

Minneapolis has the second-highest percentage (11), followed by Denver (10) Seattle (9), Dallas (8), and Washington, D.C. (8). San Francisco (7 percent), the epicenter of American tech, tied with New York, Boston, and Portland. 

Comparably says nearly one in four (23 percent) female tech workers in the United States reported that they have been sexually harassed at work. Only four percent of men said the same. Women executives reported the most sexual harassment: 32 percent — nearly one-third — said it has happened to them.

In tech communications jobs, another one in four women (23 percent) said they have been harassed. Zero percent of the male respondents working in communications departments said this, the firm found. Native Americans (22 percent), African-Americans (13 percent) and Latinos (13 percent) reported the highest rates of sexual harassment.

The departments with the highest rates of harassment in tech for men and women were administration (where one in five people reported sexual harassment), marketing (17 percent of workers reported this has happened to them), operations (14 percent), and product management (10 percent).

There's one big caveat here, however: The survey is opt-in, meaning anyone can weigh in online. Statisticians say these kinds of surveys are inaccurate because folks who are more passionate about a topic tend to be over-represented. Scientific polls chose people randomly. However, in Comparably's defense, this particular survey could provide some unique insight, as folks don't tend to openly tell strangers, such as pollsters, about being victimized.

Sexual Harassment Goes High-Tech
Comparably

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