In an industry that’s 83% male and only 17% female, it’s tough for women to get the opportunities they deserve. Yahoo recently appointed a female CEO, but not all tech companies are as progressive at the top. So just who is the most chauvinist CEO in the tech sector?
#1 Justin Mateen – CMO of Tinder
Okay, well I wouldn’t necessarily expect the co-founder of an app designed to help people find someone nearby who is ready for a quick, anonymous lay (and that’s valued at $1.1 billion) to be the most progressive or enlightened of sorts, but Justin Mateen really takes the cake when it comes to sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
After reportedly referring to a co-worker (and now ex-VP of Tinder) by offensive, gender specific epithets and harassing her with sexist texts, Mateen got slapped with a sexual harassment lawsuit. Although he initially denied the allegations against him, he did eventually settle with the complainant, Whitney Wolfe, who alleged that she was not the only victim of his behavior but that it was a common practice at the startup. Although the two had been involved for a time, when the fling ended, leaked texts indicate that Mateen sent numerous harassing texts to Wolfe during work hours, refused to stop after numerous pleas, and threatened Wolfe’s position at the company. And the title of VP of Marketing at a company expected to reach annual revenues of $180 million by 2015 is nothing to sneeze at. Of course, Wolfe would likely be protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, although the fact that they had been romantically linked could complicate that.
Title VII protects employees from discrimination on the basis of race, gender, color, national origin, and religion, and sexual harassment is considered a form of gender discrimination. As a result, employees are protected not only in that the law made it illegal for employers to create a sexually charged or offensive work environment, but from retaliation against them for reporting such activity as well. Retaliation can take many forms, not only termination. It can be a demotion, the promotion of a less qualified colleague, removal of responsibilities from the employee, or other less tangible ill treatment of the employee. While Wolfe’s case is unique, the law definitely favors a neutral work environment.