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U.S. Tech Startups Fight Sexual Harassment With Tougher Policies

When Kristina Bergman founded Integris Software last year, she included an anti-sexual harassment clause in her company's voting agreement with investors, reports Reuters (July 12, Rodriguez).  The clause calls for an investigation should any board member be accused of sexual harassment. The director would be removed if it is determined there was "reasonable probability" that incident occurred. Sexual harassment by start-up investors is currently in the spotlight throughout Silicon Valley, following revelations of sexual misconduct that resulted in the resignation of top partners at venture firms Binary Capital and 500 Startups. While Integris' policy is rare, other start-ups are following suit. Wizeline, a San Francisco-based software firm, recently adopted a policy that calls for an investigation anytime someone reports sexual harassment. Among venture capitalist firms, meanwhile, Foundry Group said it would enforce a "zero tolerance policy" on harassment at any company or venture firms in which it has invested.

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