Fort Lauderdale, FL- Just because tech companies have their eyes on the future doesn’t mean their minds aren’t stuck in the 50s when it comes to women in the workplace. A top executive for popular dating app Tinder is the latest tech misogynist to have his sexist remarks come back and bite him.
In her lawsuit, Whitney Wolfe, the former vice president of marketing and one of Tinder’s co-founders accused her boss Josh Mateen and Chief Executive officer Sean Rad of engaging in “in atrocious sexual harassment and sex discrimination.” The two douchebags men threatened to strip her of her “Co-Founder” title because having a woman in that position makes the “company seem like a joke” and “devalues” the company.
Mateen also repeatedly called Wolfe a “whore” in front of Rad, and berated her through text messages, t
That’s just some of the gems included in Wolfe’s 60-plus page lawsuit which details the numerous inappropriate comments Mateen and Rad made to Wolfe and other Tinder employees.
Wolfe’s suit serves as an example of how wrong an office romance can go. According to the suit, the tensions between Mateen and Wolfe began after the romance they started shortly after he became her boss went south and he began to subject her to spiteful and venomous comments about her.
Wolfe told Rad about all the hateful and sexist comments, which he too was guilty of, but he took no action to correct Mateen’s behavior. He even retaliated against Wolfe. On one occasion, when Mateen called her a whore in front of other people, Wolfe offered to resign, a suggestion Rad refused to accept only to turn around and fire her a few days later.
“Although it is tempting to describe the conduct of Tinder’s senior executives as “frat-like,” it was in fact much worse- representing the worst of the misogynist, alpha-male stereotype too often associated with technology startups,” the lawsuit says.
Wolfe and her sexual harassment attorneys are seeking compensation for discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation.
This is the second tech company this year where a top level female executive was forced to quit because of their male counterparts’ egregious sexist behavior. But two sexual harassment suits are just the tip of the iceberg the according to women who work in the male-dominated tech sector.
In April, GitHub CEO Julie Ann Hovrath resigned from her executive position after she was sexually harassed by her boss and threatened by his wife. In April, Hovrath told TechCrunch that as the only female designer/developer she could not get used to the “culture” and her work was being judged solely by her gender. Hovrath said the men she worked with didn’t value her opinion and this would appear to be the case at Tinder.
Hovrath and Wolfe did the right thing by filing their suits. What many people don’t understand about sexual harassment suits is that they are not about the money—though money is involved– they are about forcing an employer and a harasser to recognize what sexual harassment is an take actions to stop the behavior. Victims only seek out sexual harassment attorneys because their employer refuses to protect them or stand by them and stop them from being abused.