Not just Hollywood
At conferences in recent years I've been guilty of stating that the IT industry seems to be making headway in cleaning up its act. I've observed generally improving standards of behaviour towards women and have worked at a couple of organisations with a more-or-less 50:50 balance of gender. So far, so good. I don't feel that I can support that view any longer.
Last month I was treated to a full on display of misogyny and victimisation surrounding the removal of a female consultant who has done nothing worse than the job she was paid to do, and doing it extremely well. One powerful individual took exception to the presence of a woman in a senior role and set out to bully, harass and victimise the individual. This included personal abuse, setting tasks that were inappropriate, demanding reports to be delivered "on my desk within an hour" and other nonsense intended only to make her life misery. She stoically put up with all of this, met all the deadlines and produced some excellent work. Her reward was to be dismissed by the back door - her contract was cancelled and no one told her.
All of that was bad enough, but the sad part of this business has been the inevitable cover up. The HR department has moved to protect the bully and has rejected all complaints about his behaviour and the fact that he drove a coach and horses through company HR procedures. He's been quite open about the fact that he doesn't want any "interfering women" on his team. No one above him cares.
This is deeply shameful and his Teflon suit seems to be provided by the all-male club in middle/senior management.
If anyone is doubt, my gender is male and I have no axe to grind against the male manager in question, other than the fact that he has shown himself up to be a deeply unpleasant individual.