The Guardian recently reported that a female engineer at Tesla has accused the forward thinking company of “pervasive harassment,” unequal pay, sex discrimination, and retaliation.
AJ Vandermeyden is still working for Tesla and has since 2013. She has worked in a manufacturing engineering position in the general assembly department. Her co-workers are mostly male and she has alleged that she has been paid less than her male colleagues. She was often the only female in meetings with 40-50 men. The high-level executive positions in the company are held by men, with 2 out of 30 VP positions held by women. She has claimed that inequality complaints are responded to with, “We’re focused on making cars. We don’t have time to deal with all this other stuff.”
Ms. Vandermeyden has asserted that she came up with a solution for some quality testing issues that male engineers missed. Even though she solved the problem, men were promoted over her. She has alleged that female engineers were denied promotions even though they were “equally or more qualified.” Concurrently, men on the floor used inappropriate language, whistled and cat called, creating a sexually offensive and hostile working environment. After complaining, Ms. Vandermeyden was allegedly given unachievable performance standards that were not given to male engineers. She has also stated that she was retaliated against for being a “whistleblower” on safety concerns. In its response to the Guardian, Tesla pointed out that it had hired a neutral third party to investigate and the investigation found the claims to be unsubstantiated. Ms. Vandermeyden has filed suit.