We published a guest post from Ben Franklin Technology Partners yesterday that was promptly rejected by our readers.
The main problem with the story? It questions the existence of something that many women have heard about for years: Sexual harassment in Philly’s tech scene.
Every single woman I know in Philly tech – which is a bunch – has stories about being harassed in local tech based on their gender.
— Briana Morgan (@babefromtoyland) August 16, 2017
(Full disclosure: due to an editing error, an earlier version of the story was missing a significant section, which was added yesterday once the error was discovered.)
Community members pointed out, as did the author, Amanda Wagner, that asking just heads of the organization for input wasn’t a representative measure of the community’s thoughts on the matter.
We’ve reported about specific instances in which these claims have been made. Anecdotally, we’ve heard of places that were less than inclusive when it comes to HR policies or don’t even have ones in place.
But what’s perfectly clear to us after last night’s feedback is that sexual harassment in Philly tech deserves proper, careful reporting.
Some of the steps that are coming are in this Twitter thread but the main ask that we have from you today is inspired by Billy Penn’s Anna Orso. In her reporting about street harassment she started her work with a call to action: An open, anonymous Google form to gather anecdotes of street harassment.
And as our reporting on women in tech issue stretches past August’s editorial calendar theme, we’ll rely on the same method to ask you to do an incredibly brave thing: Share your stories with us in an anonymous, safe space. Share even for cathartic purposes. Share off the record, on background or on the record.
One way we can help the community address difficult issues such as sexual harassment is by providing a platform for open dialogue. We’re listening.