Google executive Diane Greene promises to protect staff from sexual harassment: Is it happening in the Australian startup sector?

Google board director and prominent investor Diane Greene has vowed to step up and address any claims of sexual harassment and discrimination made by her staff as allegations against major tech giants in Silicon Valley continue to unfold.

Greene made the promise before an audience of 10,000 on International Women’s Day, Business Insider reports.

“I was lucky and I chose to be kind of oblivious to what was going on,” Greene said.

“And now we’re in an environment where women are having a huge impact and adding a lot of value to our industry. And women are celebrated.”

But the sector is facing a serious problem with the decline of women’s participation, she says, and leaders need to set an example.

Greene’s comments come in the wake of serious sexual harassment allegations against tech giants like Uber and Tesla, which raise the question of just how pervasive these issues are in a sector where diversity and inclusion are an ongoing struggle.

Read more: Will.i.am calls out lack of diversity at Dreamforce 

The trend of women leaving the tech sector is so prevalent, South by South West has coined it “Wexit”.

In a blog about the issue of harassment and discrimination in Silicon Valley, Floor64 founder and chief executive Mike Masnick said the problem must be addressed immediately.

“It needs to stop … you shouldn’t need to read beyond that,” Masnick says in TechDirt

StartupSmart is investigating issues around sexual harassment and discrimination and how they affect Australia’s startup and tech sector. If you have experienced this in any way at an event, conference or workplace, we welcome you to get in touch with us by emailing [email protected]

StartupSmart understands the nature of this investigation may relate to sensitive information and will protect the privacy of sources wishing to remain anonymous.

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