A Fifth of Startup Founders Believe that Reports on Sexism Are ‘Overblown’


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Despite the pervasive issue regarding harassment and sexism in Silicon Valley expanding prominence in recent times, it appears that the industry still has a long way to go in terms of acknowledging the problem. A survey by First Round Capital, a venture firm,  surveyed 800 startup founders. It discovered that nineteen percent of respondents (which is almost a fifth) thinks that sexual harassment in the tech industry has been “overblown” by the media, while forty percent say that the issue is “more significant than the media is reporting.” Meanwhile, fifty-three percent say that they, or someone they know, has experienced sexual harassment in their workplace personally.

Only seventeen percent of those that were surveyed were identified as women. That is why there is no surprise that the majority of them think that the issue can be revised by taking in more female venture capitalists into the tech industry. On the other hand, men claim that the answer is sensitivity training and more media coverage. Obviously, then, these numbers are not telling the complete story. This could easily explain why, when asked about how long they believe it will take for the workforce of the tech industry to become representative of the general population in terms of gender and race, a third said that it would take more than twenty years. Depressingly, some complained that the question did not include an option for “never.”