Women's issues have been front and center in Silicon Valley this past year. This week, more than 20 employees were fired from Uber after an internal investigation into claims of pervasive sexism and sexual harassment in the company. The investigation was launched after former engineer Susan Fowler posted a blog in February detailing the toxic workplace culture she'd encountered while working at Uber for just one year.
Also this week, Tesla fired a female engineer a few months after she told The Guardian that she'd encountered a culture of "pervasive harassment" and wage discrimination.
A study conducted last year showed that women in Silicon Valley feel sexism is rampant in the tech industry. The Elephant in the Valley project was inspired by a conversation about Ellen Pao's lawsuit against her former employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Pao lost the sex discrimination suit, but the case got many women talking about incidents they'd faced in their careers. The study surveyed more than 200 women in Silicon Valley to find out how gender issues have affected their careers. "What we realized is that while many women shared similar workplace stories, most men were simply shocked and unaware of the issues facing women in the workplace," the survey co-authors wrote. "In an effort to correct the massive information disparity, we decided to get the data on the stories."
We figured it's time to take a serious look at sexism in the auto industry. Automotive News teamed with the researchers who put together the Elephant in the Valley to conduct our own survey. We'd like to hear about what women have experienced over the years in the auto industry.
We're looking for data too, but we also want to hear personal stories. Our survey is anonymous, but there is a link at the end to share contact information if you're willing to talk to an Automotive News reporter.
We encourage women to take the survey. It will be 20 minutes well spent. And please forward this to women in the industry who might have something to say.
— Sharon Silke Carty