Asian Female Founders Are Banding Together to Fight Sexual Harassment in Silicon Valley
A group of female Asian entrepreneurs, who have had enough of the growing sexual harassment scandals in Silicon Valley, have taken it upon themselves to do something to help address the problem.
Meltwater’s Tammy Cho and Grace Choi recently teamed up with their friend Annie Shin, a software engineer to create Betterbrave.com, a helpful guide for those who have experienced sexual harassment and abuse at work.
According to the Huffington Post, the women were inspired by an explosive essay they read from former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, which exposed the rampant sexism and discrimination at the company.
Cho said that after seeing a part of themselves in that post, they began talking to each other about their own personal experiences with discrimination, harassment, and racism in the workplace.
“There were stories we hadn’t shared with anyone else,” 22-year-oldCho was quoted as saying.
In a Medium post, Choi shared that the conversation eventually led to the question: “Why don’t good solutions to sexual harassment already exist?”
They then immediately started working on a way to help address the problem.
“It felt like our duty to figure out a way to address this issue,” Cho said.
Over the past several months, the women spent a significant amount of time developing the site.
They sought the help of experts on the subject of sexual harassment, including employment lawyers, human resources professionals to talk about ways to confront such situations in the work environment.
Last week, the women launched “Better Brave”, a site which provides helpful information, such as the definition of harassment, what constitutes as such and how to handle similar situations if faced with the mistreatment at work.
Potential victims of sexual harassment are highly advised by the site to contact a lawyer immediately for advice.
As Cho pointed out, in some situations, such as in Fowler’s case, an employers’ human resources department may not be always helpful to victims.
“We heard a lot of stories where HR mishandled the case,” Cho said.
Those who are in need of free consultation with an experienced lawyer may fill out the form available on the site, after which, depending on availability, they will be connected to an attorney who offers guidance.
While the site was not geared to focus on making a profit, Cho and her co-founders admit that there is potential to make money, especially on referring prospective clients with lawyers.
“We’ll see how things go,” Cho said while pointing out that such an endeavor would require further research. “We want to ensure that whichever model we choose aligns with our mission.”
The founders are currently focused on educating workers on the issue.
Cho noted that it is usually the young women, who are new to the workforce, who are even more vulnerable to unwelcome sexual advances.
“You’re young and you have your entire career ahead of you. It’s terrifying,” she said, while also noting that anyone is a potential victim. “It’s just kind of everywhere.”
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