Naina KhedekarJun 29, 2012 12:30:24 IST
Facebook, which recently emerged among the top three companies to work with rated by Glassdoor has been stuck in the 1950s mentality and was completely sexist until lately, reports Daily Mail. A senior staff member described it as a cross between a frat house and Mad Men. In her book, The Boy Kings: A Journey into the Heart of the Social Network, Katherine Losse who worked for Facebook between 2005 and 2010 claims that female workers at the social network were propositioned for threesomes and faced insults like 'I want to put my teeth in your ass.' At Facebook, she worked at customer relations moving upwards to a senior marketing role and then became the speechwriter for Zuckerberg.
Is Facebook sexist? (Image source: The Telegraph)
Reportedly, lower ranking employees who were usually female were treated as ‘second class help’ and also banned from conferences unless they worked as coat checkers. In between toga parties and late night ‘hackathons,’ male engineers raced skateboards around desks. So, basically, it is a cool place for men, but completely biased against women. Mark Zuckerberg is even compared to Napolean and called a little emperor with staff that treats him like an idol. Moreover, on his 22nd birthday, female employees were asked to wear T-shirts with his name printed on them.
She also claims that Facebook is all about creating a 'popular techno frat that didn't exist at Stanford or Harvard' where men can engage in endless competition with each other. Reportedly, she also writes, "The older men in the office could be unbridled in their wide ranging desires for sex and attention as the youngest ones.” She also writes, “When a female employee reported being told by a male co-worker in the lunch line that her backside looked tasty - "I want to put my teeth in your ass" was what the co-worker said - Mark asked (it was hard to tell whether it was with faux or genuine naivete): 'What does that even mean?"
"The company's entire human resources architecture was constructed on the reactionary model of an office from the 1950s in which men with so-called masculine qualities (being technical, breaking things, moving fast) was idealised as brilliant and visionary whilst everyone else (particularly the nontechnical employees on the customer support team who were mostly female and sometime, unlike the white and Asian engineering team, black) were assumed to be duller, incapable of quick and intelligent thought. It was like Mad Men but real and happening the current moment, as if in repudiation of fifty years of social progress," Losse wrote.
The report further states that when on a trip to Las Vegas, a group of Facebook engineers invited girls to their table and then asked them to leave stating that they weren’t pretty enough. A year ago, Facebook had offered its staff a $1,000 a month subsidy to live within a mile of the office so that it could make them happier. However, there was an outcry that this was only offered to engineers on $80,000 a year salaries. These things started changing with the arrival of the chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg in 2009. Sheryl Sandberg now joins the Facebook board as its first female directors.
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