“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” - Benjamin Franklin, in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, 1789.
This famous idiom summarizes the only to certainties in life; however, based on the never ceasing news lately, I recommend we edit this to state “… except death and taxes and any number of men in power positions harassing / coming on to women.”
I originally described this concept of this podcast as a “Charlie Rose roundtable interview format”; a description I need to change immediately thanks to the recent news of his idiotic discretions. And I sincerely believe the Harvey Weinstein accusations were the catalyst the opened the floodgates. Story after story has been breaking of men in power using their position to intimidate, harass, and treat women (and in some cases men - looking at you Kevin Spacey) in a derogatory and threatening manner. The NYTimes list is a continuous running inventory of famous men forced to come to terms with their past actions.
A few years back I helped author a study for Swift on the issue of gender parity in tech/banking. The statistics of the lack of women in leadership positions at the time were jarring for me. My friend Liz Lumley summed this up well when she stated “There are more CEO’s with the name ‘John’ than women CEO’s in the banking / tech industry.”
In this episode I interviewed three friends and company CEO/founders on the topic of sexual harassment and the “bro-culture” in tech. They include Jane Barrett (Founder & CEO of Goldbean), Laura Spiekerman (co-founder of Alloy) and Gesche Haas (founder of Dreamers & Doers). Each of these incredible company founders and tech leaders have had to deal with multiple encounters of sexual harassment and just plain stupid behavior. This topic couldn’t be more timely and each of these company founders I consider to be mentors to me.
Both Gesche and Laura have spoken out previously on this topic and their experiences; Gesche with Bloomberg and Laura with Megyn Kelly. Jane is a superstar and is a routinely sought after expert on finance and investing.
This is their story.
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