Twitter is accused of gender discrimination

sexdiscrimIn the wake of the much-publicized Pao v. Kleiner Perkins trial, the national spotlight is newly focused on the issue of gender discrimination and bias in the tech world. The latest big name tech company to be named in a suit is Twitter, which is facing a class action lawsuit for sexual discrimination. Former software engineer Tina Huang claims that the social media giant’s promotion process is biased towards its male employees.

Engineering positions at Twitter are placed along a hierarchy with eight levels of job titles. Rather than creating formal job postings, the company announces promotional opportunities via a mysterious “shoulder tap” process. Huang’s case alleges that this process favors men heavily and that decisions are made by committees that are comprised of upper management at Twitter, who are predominately male.

Whether or not the Court rules that Huang’s case has merit, there is little doubt that the tech industry is set to face a challenging inventory of its gender dynamics. At Twitter alone, 70% of employees are male, a proportion that becomes further skewed as you climb the leadership ladder. Female employees hold only 21% of leadership positions and 10% of technical jobs.