Tesla Responds To 2016 Harassment Lawsuit
Mar 01, 2017 12:16 PM EST
Tesla engineer and current employee AJ Vandermeyden lays out more details of discriminatory treatment in Tesla's male-dominated work environment in a recent interview with The Guardian on Tuesday. Her new statements are made in the context of a harassment lawsuit she filed last year against Tesla.
In the interview, Vandermeyden said that she was often the only woman in meetings consisting of 40 to 50 employees. She also revealed that she was passed up for promotions within Tesla along with other female employees, in favor of men who were equally or less qualified.
Vandermeyden told The Guardian that she specifically came up with a unique solution to a quality testing oversight but that the performance did not prevent other male employees from being promoted above her. She further explained the workplace unfairness in Tesla, saying that most C-level executive positions are taken up by men, with only two VP positions out of more than 30 held by women.
Vandermeyden also recalled a 2015 incident whereby a group of male colleagues where "whistling" and "hooting and hollering" at her and another female coworker from a platform they were passing by. Despite the concerns, she still agrees with Tesla's overall vision, and really does believe they are doing great things.
When contacted, Tesla provided a statement to TechCrunch regarding the new statements Vandermeyden made to the Guardian, saying that Vandermeyden joined Tesla in a sales position in 2013, and moved into successive engineering roles despite having no formal engineering degree. She began with Tesla's paint shop and moved on to another role in General Assembly.
The company said that it's an evidence of the fact that Tesla is committed to rewarding hard work and talent, regardless of background. After an exhaustive review over the allegations, an independent investigator also determined that Vandermeyden's "claims of gender discrimination, harassment, and retaliation have not been substantiated." Meanwhile, the legal action remains ongoing, and Vandermeyden remains a Tesla employee.