Blog post by Dave McClure, founder and now former CEO of 500 Startups, a Silicon Valley incubator. The post was made after the company confirmed his resignation as CEO. Mr. McClure went on to explain that he made advances to “multiple women in work-related situations, where it was clearly inappropriate.” The woman upon whom the advances were made were entrepreneurs in need of financial support for their fledgling companies.
As more situations rise to the surface across Silicon Valley it has become clear that the culture of the high-tech field is one of the casting couch. To get ahead, women had to tolerate propositions, advances, and worse. As one Silicon Valley capital firm phrased it, “This is not just a case of a few bad actors. This is not something that is fixable with a pledge or a new policy. This is a culture that has been allowed to fester and to rot by enablers who refused to intervene when they witnessed inexcusable behavior or went to great lengths to avoid seeing it.”
Take iconic CEOs, phenomenal financial performance, perks, perception of goodness (Seven Signs) you create one heck of a yeehaw culture that is going to harm many. Too bad the remedy is ousting rogues instead of changing the culture.