Female Facebook employees were routinely asked to cover up and not wear clothing that would “distract” co-workers, a former employee of the Silicon Valley giant has claimed in a new book.
The claim, which contrasts starkly with the the professed feminism of company executives like Sheryl Sandberg, was made by Antonio García Martínez, who worked at Facebook before being fired two years ago, in a memoir about his time at the organisation entitled Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley.
In the book, he claims that the human resources department would ask female employees not to wear revealing clothing in order to avoid distracting their male counterparts.
“Our male HR authority, with occasional backup from his female counterpart, launched into a speech about avoiding clothing that ‘distracted’ coworkers. I’d later learn that managers did in fact occasionally pull aside female employees and read them the riot act,” he says.
Facebook and Silicon Valley firms have long been criticised for their male-dominated workplace culture, with 68% of Facebook employees being men, and with 84% of technology roles at the company also being occupied by men.
He also claims that CEO Mark Zuckerberg was prone to outburst of rage, with a habit of sending angry emails to all his staff saying “Please resign,” after plans were leaked, and responding badly to employees scribbling all over the firm’s walls, saying “I trusted you to create art, and what you f*****s did was vandalize the place.”
García Martínez also suggests Facebook is as corrupt as any other major sector. “The way he sees it, Silicon Valley is much like Wall Street, or any other sector of corporate America, when it comes to shady dealings,” Ellen Huet says in a review for Bloomberg.
Facebook has yet to respond to the allegations.
Chaos Monkeys is available online from $12.99