There is no easy fix for Silicon Valley’s culture of sexism, Roger McNamee, managing director at Elevation Partners, said Monday on CNBC. The comments come after yet another venture capitalist has been accused of sexual harassment.
“Silicon Valley has a cultural problem right now that is so severe that it almost needs a reset,” McNamee said on “Squawk Alley.”
“I think it’s worse today than it was 10 years ago. There are a lot more women in the workforce. And the men are behaving horribly. I just think there has not been good governance inside the companies,” he said.
The tech industry is under increasing pressure to change after allegations of sexist behavior have come to light — starting earlier this year with former Uber engineer Susan Fowler’s allegations that the company failed to act on sexual harassment and gender discrimination complaints. “It’s not like we didn’t know this stuff was going on at Uber from the beginning,” said McNamee.
The pressure has gotten more intense recently. Half a dozen women have accused Justin Caldbeck, formerly at Bain Capital, of making unwanted sexual advances when they went to seek out funding or advice from him, according to a report from The Information. (In a statement Caldbeck said: “It is outrageous and unethical for any person to leverage a position of power in exchange for sexual gain, it is clear to me now that that is exactly what I’ve done.”)
Another venture capitalist — Dave McClure of 500 Startups — has admitted he “made advances towards multiple women in work-related situations,” and called himself “a creep” to women in an apology posted on Medium.
“There is this, you know, unwritten rule that people don’t talk about stuff like this and women have been victimized by this,” McNamee said.
The issue has impacted every group that is not in a position of power in Silicon Valley, he said. “I think people of color have [also] been disadvantaged by analogous kinds of problems,” said McNamee.
And the only way to fix the problem is to start at the top, he said. “I think it starts with the people who have the money,” McNamee said. “They just have to say, look … I’m going to withdraw all of my money and force the funds to shut down.”
Source: Tech CNBC
Silicon Valley's cultural problem so severe it needs reset, said investor McNamee