SpaceX Is Accused of Ignoring Cases of Harassment

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SpaceX: Three former interns at the American company SpaBceX claim that they have reported cases of harassment towards their superiors and the company’s human resources sector, but have not received an answer.

SpaceX belongs to Elon Musk, personality of the year, according to Times magazine. Until this Saturday morning (18th), the company had still publicly commented on the accusations.

Ashley Kosak reports in a post on the Lioness website the violence suffered. According to her, in 2017, when she was still an intern, a colleague ran his hand over her body in the kitchen of a dorm. In 2018, the situation was repeated with another co-worker at a company event.

She says that, on the first occasion, she went to her immediate superior, and on the second, to the HR department. She never got an answer.

“From what I’ve heard, SpaceX’s new interns are trained on how to better report cases of harassment they’ve suffered. Harassers, on the other hand, are still not being held accountable,” says she, who left the company last month.

Other reports

The American newspaper The New York Times investigated the cases and found that at least two other former interns had gone through similar situations.

Julia Crowley Farenga was an intern from 2015 to 2017 when she was a student at MIT. She filed a lawsuit against SpaceX in 2020 after repeated allegations against a former manager of the SpaceX.

According to Julia, her boss used to schedule longer meetings with her than with other male co-workers. Also, she insisted on asking questions and comments about her love life.

On one occasion she received a proposal for a position in another management. But when she applied for the new position, she found that the manager had blocked the change of position despite the good results she was showing.

Another intern also claims that she was the victim of harassment in the company’s quarters. SpaceX rents or buys homes near rocket launch regions to house its employees. It often houses men and women together, even sharing bathrooms.

In the episode she experienced, a company employee got drunk and tried to get into her room as she came out of the bathroom, knocking on the door and asking if she was naked. The man even tried to enter the bathroom through another door that only his male colleague had access to.

After the complaint, HR only said that a new accommodation policy would be adopted by the company and the bathrooms would be shared only by people of the same sex.

A fourth woman said that she has never been a victim of such a situation, but that she has seen colleagues go through it. The last two women did not want to reveal their identity.

Company notice

After the complaints, the SpaceX agency sent a notice to its employees by e-mail. In the text, Gwynne Shotwell, president and chief operating officer, says the company will “strictly investigate all reports of harassment or discrimination and take prompt and appropriate action when we discover our policy has been violated.”

SpaceX highlights the work of engineers on social networks. The director Shotwell is even considered a key player in the company’s success.

Despite this, in the aerospace industry, men still outnumber women. There are eight for each one.