Chia Hong, a former Product Manager of Facebook, has officially filed a lawsuit against the influential social media platform for gender and racial discrimination and sexual harassment.
Hong left Facebook in October 2013 and alleges she suffered discrimination from her direct boss Anil Wilson and a handful of co-workers. When she had reached her limit, she spoke to a Human Resources affiliate and she was soon terminated for coming forward. The lawsuit was then birthed from her unjust firing.
As a Chinese-American woman, Hong was especially appalled that her racial identity was used as means to demote or devalue her work, as described in an excerpt from the complaint:
The discrimination included, but was not limited to, plaintiff having her professional opinions belittled or ignored at group meetings in which she was one of the only employees of Chinese descent; plaintiff being told that she was not integrated into the team because she looks different and talks differently than other team members, and plaintiff being replaced by a less qualified, less experienced Indian male.
She made it a point to include that the man was Indian. A possible controversial move there. But we get it. He’s still a guy in a space that overwhelmingly a boy’s club.
Hong also experienced uncomfortable remarks about her place as a woman and why she wasn’t a stay at home mother:
The harassment included, but was not limited to, ANIL WILSON regularly ignoring or belittling plaintiff’s professional opinions and input at group meetings in which she was the only woman or one of very few; asking plaintiff why she did not just stay home and take care of her child instead of having a career; admonishing plaintiff for taking one personal day per month to volunteer at her child’ s school, which was permitted under company policy; ordering plaintiff to organize parties and serve drinks to male colleagues, which was not a part of plaintiff’s job description and not something that was requested of males with whom she worked…”
We’ll have to see if this will be a watershed moment in the matters of discrimination, as Silicon Valley located and the technology industry in general, as Mother Jones pointed out, are still having an oddly difficult in diversifying their rosters. This has also been noted by TIME, Mashable and Newsweek before.