Last week, Github released a report regarding the investigation that took place after charges of sexism and intimidation were levied against the company. On Monday, Github CEO Chris Wanstrath opened up further about the details of that investigation, including the findings that led to co-founder Tom Preston-Werner’s resignation.
After developer Julie Ann Horvath alleged multiple instances of intimidation and harassment from male coworkers, including a superior later to be identified as Preston-Werner, Github conducted a month-long investigation into the matter. According to the blog post, independent investigator Rhoma Young found that Preston-Werner had “acted inappropriately, including confrontational conduct, disregard of workplace complaints, insensitivity to the impact of his spouse’s presence in the workplace, and failure to enforce an agreement that his spouse should not work in the office.” Wanstrath said that after those findings, the company no longer felt that Preston-Werner could lead, and they accepted his resignation.
However, Horvath’s other allegations — including an instance of a male engineer ripping out her code — were not determined to be instances of malicious activity. In addition, no other female employees at Github expressed instances of sexual or gender-based harassment.
Wanstrath reinforced his earlier statement that Github is working on its HR department to better protect its employees from harassment:
Our rapid growth left the leadership team, myself included, woefully unprepared to properly handle these types of situations. We’re very aware this is a weakness, now more than ever, and it’s naive to think we won’t have these issues in the future. But learning how to properly handle conflict and building a safe working environment are two of our most important priorities.
I’m sorry to everyone we let down, including Julie. I realize this post doesn’t fix or undo anything that happened. We’re doing everything in our power to prevent it from happening again.
Horvath took to Twitter to respond to the post:
GitHub also owes an apology to women their lack of employee protection and company culture has hurt in the past.—
Julie Ann Horvath (@nrrrdcore) April 28, 2014
And also to reinforce her decision to publicly name those who were involved in the situation: