A female engineer at Tesla sued the electric car company last year for “pervasive harassment,” paying her less compared to other male counterparts and promoting less qualified men over her, amongst many other inappropriate acts committed against women including "inappropriate language, whistling and catcalls," the lawsuit reads.
In an interview with the Guardian, A.J. Vandermeyden, 33, said inappropriate sexual behavior took place at the Palo Alto-based company. She noted that women face various hurdles that prevented them from advancing in their careers. In addition, Vandermeyden said she was denied overtime pay, rest and meal breaks.
“Until somebody stands up, nothing is going to change. I'm an advocate of Tesla. I really do believe they are doing great things. That said, I can't turn a blind eye if there's something fundamentally wrong going on,” Vandermeyden said.
Vandermeyden filed a complaint last fall claiming that whenever she would address her concerns, they were always dismissed by management. She said male engineers continuously advanced in their jobs as opposed to women who were "equally or more qualified." She also claimed she was paid less than male engineers whose work she ended up doing.
Men currently hold all chief executive positions at Tesla, and out of more than 30 vice-presidents, only two are women, she told the publication.
"It's shocking in this day and age that this is still a fight we have to have."
Vandermeyden's allegations come after former engineer Susan Fowler Rigetti blasted Uber a week ago in a viral blog post, claiming management and HR dismissed her complaints about ongoing sexual harassment and sexism at the workplace.
Other Tesla workers have also come forth claiming harassment and unfair treatment that took place in the company. Employees were even trying to form a union earlier this month, according to Bloomberg.
In an email to the Guardian, Tesla said, "[The company] understands the importance of fostering an inclusive workplace that is reflective of the communities we call home [and recognizes that] there is more we can do to promote diversity. As with any company with more than 30,000 employees, it is inevitable that there will be a small number of individuals who make claims against the company, but that does not mean those claims have merit."
Vandermeyden, who currently works for the electric car company founded by Elon Musk in 2003, said she began working for them in 2013, and that despite her public comments, still hopes to continue to work for them, adding that Tesla is a "revolutionary and innovative company."