Sexual Harassment Policy


If you haven't read about what's happening in the tech industry the past few weeks/months I encourage you to please take the time to review this information.

The downfall of Uber
Binary Capital fund collapses
NYT takes down Dave McClure and Chris Sacca
Shedding Light on the “Black Box of Inappropriateness”
BetterWorks and CEO sued by ex-employee for alleged sexually suggestive assault

The world has changed. Accountability has finally come. Nothing positive nor good can come from you or from any of us -- if we don’t strictly adhere to protocol on the sexual harassment issue -- it's all a downside for everyone involved.

We've worked hard to try to bring amazing people into the community and make it an environment where everyone feels comfortable and safe.

We don't know how to state this any more plainly than this: there is zero tolerance for sexual harassment at Startup Grind.

We have worked to create a positive atmosphere for everyone. This needs to remain in place 100% of the time until the end of time. This is one issue on which we will not risk our reputation. There is too much at stake for each person of our communities, and for all of its members. We are dedicated to you, and to our Startup Grind culture that works for the protection of all of us.

  1. If you feel you are the victim of sexual harassment (by anyone), please speak with one of the Startup Grind team immediately. This includes all employees, interns, Directors or Co-directors at Startup Grind -- you should talk to your Community Manager immediately. 
  2. If you feel you may have been sexually harassed by someone while at Startup Grind (volunteer/attendee/anything) you should talk to your Community Manager or a team member immediately.
  3. If you have ever felt any inappropriate actions or words from Startup Grind HQ team members you should talk to Derek and/or Neda immediately.
  4. If you have a relationship with a Director, Co-Director or any team member you need to let us know so we can make sure we are keeping the lanes clear.

If you are not 100% sure how to deal with these things, our advice to you is there is a lot of information currently available where you can learn correct business etiquette. Please take the time to figure out and completely understand where the line on the cliff is. Know what is and isn’t appropriate (see guidelines below). Once that line is determined, walk about 20 feet away from where you should not be and don't cross that line. If you adhere to this 100% of the time, you will never put yourself or our community in a bad situation. Don't get your toe near this line -- even 1% of the time. 

Here are a few examples: Inappropriate comments, remarks or suggestions that have been made which make the other party feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Generalized sexist statements and behavior that convey insulting or degrading attitudes about women, race, gender, orientations (anything considered offensive); e.g. insulting remarks, obscene jokes or humor about sex or women in general. Unwanted, inappropriate and offensive direct propositions implying sexual advances of any kind that have been made (e.g. sexual invitations like “would you consider sleeping with me or come to my hotel room, etc.,” insistent requests for dinner, drinks or dates, persistent messages, phone calls or any other unwanted invitations). 

Solicitation of sexual activity or other sex-linked behavior containing any allusion or promise of reward; the proposition may be either overt or subtle coercion of sexual activity or other sex-linked behavior. We tolerate no threats of punishment; examples include negative performance evaluations, withholding of promotions, threat of termination. Unwanted and non-consensual sexual imposition and physical advances (such as forceful touching, feeling, grabbing, kissing) or anything that can be construed as a sexual assault.

If you have questions or concerns I encourage you to jump on a call with your Community Manager, or HQ Team management as soon as possible. Finally, remember Harvard professor and Startup Grind speaker Clayton Christensen’s advice in all situations:

“It's easier to hold to your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold to them 98 percent of the time. The boundary—your personal moral line—is powerful because you don't cross it; if you have justified doing it once, there's nothing to stop you doing it again. Decide what you stand for. And then stand for it all the time.”

Startup Grind HQ Team

Derek, Joel, Karlie, Guillaume, Neda