Twitter has now been added to the list of Silicon Valley giants that have been accused of gender bias. The micro-blogging company has been accused by a former female employee who worked in the capacity of software engineer of favoring male employees through the secretive promotion process it follows.
Twitter has clandestine committee to supervise promotions?
According to a report from Reuters, Tina Huang claims that the company tends to be biased towards men when giving alerts about existing job openings or opportunities for promotion.
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The job application and promotion process at Twitter isn’t formal at all, alleges Huang in her lawsuit. She said the gender imbalance in the technical workforce at Twitter is because there are no job postings or reviews made by the company. Rather, a secret management committee allegedly makes all such major decisions. “Promotion into Twitter’s senior technical positions is based on subjective judgments, by committees that are comprised of and dependent on upper management at Twitter, and predominantly male,” according to the lawsuit.
According to Twitter, Huang left the company voluntarily and was not fired. As per a company spokesman, management even tried to persuade her to change her mind and asserted that Huang “was treated fairly.”
Gender bias common among tech firms
Many tech firms based in Silicon Valley, including giants like Facebook, Google and Twitter, have themselves reported that the male to female ratio in their organizations is 70:30 on average. Therefore, all these tech companies are accused of gender bias and discrimination quite frequently. Such statistics, apart from the rampant male-dominated culture, have encouraged many to come in open to protest against gender discrimination policies prevalent in these big organizations, and recent lawsuits are a proof of this.
Last Wednesday, Facebook was also accused of promoting a culture of gender bias and discrimination by an ex-employee, and the next day a proposed class-action lawsuit was filed by Huang against Twitter in California State court in San Francisco.
Huang has urged all current and former female Twitter employees who have been denied a promotion in the last three years of filing this complaint to join her lawsuit.