Twitter Hit with Gender Discrimination Suit Alleging Unlawful Promotion Policy
Well, social media companies are in dire need of some legal help these days. Just a few days ago, we heard about Facebook getting sued for sexual discrimination and sexual harassment, and now Twitter is facing similar allegations. When will the world change?
The lawsuit was filed by an ex female employee, who claims that promotions are denied to women due to Twitter’s gender biased promotion policies. The plaintiff named Tina Huang worked for twitter between Oct 2009 and June 2014 according to her LinkedIn profile.
She was a part of the productivity team and the mobile team at the company. Huang filed the suit at the California state court and claimed:
The company’s promotion system creates a glass ceiling for women that cannot be explained or justified by any reasonable business purpose, because Twitter has no meaningful promotion process for these jobs: no published promotion criteria, nor any internal hiring, advancement, or application processes for employees.
According to her, she was denied promotion back in 2013 without a satisfactory explanation, even though there were no disciplinary complaints against her, she had excellent evaluations from colleagues and supervisors.
Huang claims that the company’s rapid growth is due to the hard work of early hires (she’s one of them) and many of them hold senior positions at the company. However, all of these positions within the software engineer family are held by men.
She also reveals that Twitter is aware of this problem and has conducted internal studies “focusing on the barriers to women’s advancement.” The company-wide problem led Huang to email Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter. After that she was sent on a leave pending further investigation into the matter.
But after three months she resigned when the company refused to update her on the status of the investigation, or even a time-frame for her return.
On the flip-side of the coin, Twitter says that Huang was treated fairly:
Ms. Huang resigned voluntarily from Twitter, after our leadership tried to persuade her to stay. She was not fired. Twitter is deeply committed to a diverse and supportive workplace, and we believe the facts will show Ms. Huang was treated fairly.
We can’t judge which side is telling the truth based on allegations, but it is a fact that Silicon Valley has showed gender bias on more than one occasions. This isn’t the first lawsuit nor it will be the last but what I don’t understand is how can any company prefer someone based on sex rather than skill, talent and education? Sadly, it’s happening.