Several employees accuse Tesla and SpaceX of cultivating a culture of harassment

Several employees accuse Tesla and SpaceX of cultivating a culture of harassment

Several women formerly employed at Space X and Tesla accuse Elon Musk’s companies of cultivating a culture conducive to sexual harassment and of remaining deaf to calls for help from employees.

In the past month, eight women filed a lawsuit against Tesla, the famous maker of electric vehicles. They say the company has done nothing to combat a stinking culture of sexual harassment that is apparently well entrenched in the company. The situation would be comparable on the side of SpaceX, which is the subject of five summons.

All paint a relatively similar picture. Through their lawyer, all these women thus explain having been regularly ogled, whistled, or even touched or questioned inappropriately. By dint of being subject to recurrent inappropriate behavior, most of them simply preferred to leave the ship.

An electric atmosphere and a freewheeling boss

All accuse the company of having been far too lax towards the perpetrators of this harassment. One of them, Eden Mederos, also explains that part of this nauseating climate would be directly linked to Elon Musk himself. She makes particular reference to certain tweets from the founder.

When announcing the Tesla Model Y, for example, he published the tweet “S3XY”. This line of humor supposed to illustrate the beauty of the vehicle with an acronym of the different models of Tesla had made the web laugh a lot… but apparently, it also uninhibited some male employees of Tesla, who would then have felt themselves growing wings. “The technicians were even worse” after this incident, explains Mederos.

Admittedly, the link is tenuous; but we must admit that the billionaire is not at his first attempt; he sometimes tweets ambiguous messages containing sexual references like the number 69. It is extremely difficult to judge to what extent this could have encouraged the sexist behavior of the employees; but what is certain is that we have seen better in terms of exemplarity from a billionaire recently elected Personality of the Year.

The glass ceiling holds up at SpaceX

Ashley Kosak, a former engineer who is one of the plaintiffs in the SpaceX affair, spoke for her part in the columns of Lioness; a choice of this medium not trivial, knowing that it is the same platform which had already relayed the similar accusations made against Blue Origin a few weeks ago.

She describes an environment “So plagued by sexism that the only remedy is to leave”. Like the other complainants, she explains that human resources not only remained deaf to her calls for help. She also claims that they even accused her of being blinded by “Racist and sexist biases”.

“They told me that these kinds of facts were too sensitive and private to be able to discuss them openly with the person”, she is indignant in an interview with Lioness. “As an organization, SpaceX emphasizes its mission above all, to the detriment of the well-being of employees,” she explains. “I have never seen anyone take any constructive action towards the perpetrators of this sexual harassment”.

The site The verge came into contact with several other former SpaceX employees or interns. Among the testimonies collected, several of these women seem to actually lend their support to the complainants. Former employees actually believe that they were stopped sharply in their ascent after denouncing the actions of certain colleagues. Three interns also believe that they were denied employment for the same reasons. If SpaceX rockets promise to take humanity ever higher, this is clearly not the case for the careers of its employees.

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