Speaking Out

Stories from men and women who have publicly spoken about their experiences with inappropriate workplace behavior or discrimination.

“I was silent for a while before I mustered up the courage to politely decline his offer. “You have no idea what you are passing up,” he said. “With all due respect, I would not be able to sleep at night if I did what you are asking, so I must pass,” I replied….I [did] not know that there was a world in which anybody would care about my experience with him. You see, I was entering into a community that Harvey Weinstein had been in, and even shaped, long before I got there. He was one of the first people I met in the industry, and he told me, “This is the way it is.” And wherever I looked, everyone seemed to be bracing themselves and dealing with him, unchallenged. I did not know that things could change. I did not know that anybody wanted things to change. So my survival plan was to avoid Harvey and men like him at all costs, and I did not know that I had allies in this.”

Lupita Nyong’o – Speaking Out about Harvey WeinsteinLink

“When I was an intern, I learned to avoid elevators, because elevators were when you were captured,” McCaskill told NBC News, referring to her time in Washington and back in Missouri. “And so, after one unfortunate incident in the elevator, I began taking the stairs everywhere I went in the state capitol when I was there as a college student.”

Senator McCaskill – “McCaskill avoided elevators as congressional intern to evade harassment” – Link

“There is no list of quick tips, no way to tie this topic up with a bright bow and be done with it. I hope that by exposing my stories and my opinions I’m providing a perspective for my male readers to consider, one that they might not otherwise have had. For my female readers, I hope this has offered some useful ways to think about situations they may face, and — if all else fails — at least provides the comforting knowledge that they are not alone.”

Heidi Rozen – Silicon Valley And SexismLink

“I didn’t complain to HR the 8,000 times I was interrupted, mansplained, dismissed, ignored, or not invited. Or when I was told I was too bossy or called intimidating. Or all the times I was told to stop talking so much about diversity problems or sexism in tech. I didn’t complain to HR because, like nearly every woman on the planet, I was doing was I was taught my whole life to do. Be nice.”

Donna Harris – I didn’t complain to HR – Link

“I know that female entrepreneur friends of mine are never sure if a coffee meeting with a male contact is actually about business or not.”

William Stubbs – I’m so tired and I’m not even a woman. – Link

“This finally convinced me that our problems with raising a round were not about SlideShare, its metrics or potential. It was related to me as a woman CEO. The final straw was when a prominent VC firm, gave us an offer, as long as I stepped down as CEO. Needless to say, we said no to that one, and also stopped talking to anyone who seemed uncomfortable with my being a CEO. That was also the point at which I became determined that I was not going to change who I was to raise a round. I was going to be myself.”

Rashmi Sinha – “My experience with Dave McClure as a woman CEO” Link

“I’ve noticed other women that I work with, we have a tendency to say, ‘Ooh maybe we could do it this way.’ Whereas a man might say, ‘Let’s do it this way.’ Just thinking about small things that I can look at to try and get myself noticed more in a male dominated environment without feeling like I need to change myself, that is a huge challenge and something that I’m always continually working on.”

Yael Levey “Women in UX: Meet Yael Levey, Creative Director at BBC Weather” Link