I sent the following message to my wife this morning.
That is a lot of drama. I don’t think you ever have to worry about me behaving like either of these women- it’s not in my personality.
The wife is obviously on some self imposed power trip if she thinks it’s ok to insert herself into employee relations. If her husband did ask her to intervene, then he needs a spine, a reminder that he is supposed to behave like a leader, and more faith in his HR department. If you asked me to intervene to influence an employee for the sake of the company, I’m pretty sure I would tell you that you needed to deal with it. I’m pretty sure you would never ask me to do that. I may be a little loud and little over the top in social situations sometimes, but this wife was deliberate and running with an illusion of superiority. Your work is yours, and I always want you to make your own decisions. If this chick thinks she controls her husband, she needs a project of her own and he needs a councilor.
I am always going to have an opinion about the financial bottom line of the company that pays for your time, but I will never insert myself directly into your work space, let alone use intimidation tactics to influence an employee. I’m a little skeptical that many of the wife’s behaviors even were for the purpose of intimidation, but she had no right or place in the GitHub structure except as a distraction to efficiency and thus a threat to the bottom line.
Horvath needs a lesson in assertiveness. She could have controlled this situation from the beginning, and ignored most of it. She responded ineffectively to the wife’s attempted intervention; I would have laughed it off bc she has no place in the company and therefore of no consequence to my paycheck or work responsibilities. The fact that the woman claimed to influence the company through her husband would have made me feel bad for both of them bc that is a sad marriage. It would have made me feel less intimidated by this woman, not more intimidated. Everytime I saw her after that, I would have felt bad for her and considered her and her intentions to be a joke.
Horvath cried when her boss was being confrontational. I would never cry- I’d be calculating and decisive and recognize that he had failed to be professional and therefore I was already ahead of him. And being disgusted about male employees ogling at female hula hooping? Seriously? I would have felt sorry for the guys that this was as good as it was going to get for them. If their team is really so pathetic, it shouldn’t take much to influence them to achieve her goals. Males who “ogle” have a significant need that remains unfulfilled and therefore can be delegated to easier just by appealing to that need. It was a wide open playing field and she had all the cards.
The only thing in this entire scenario that I think is even worth feeling irritated by is the coworker who fuqued with her code. Again, a person with unfulfilled needs that could have been redirected in a way that helped her achieve her goals.
Most of all, publicly crying sexism instead of taking control is the most inefficient way to improve her situation. She would have been better off if she made an adult decision at the point where she felt her employer had crossed the line - which to me would have been when my code got messed with and nothing was done- and removed herself from the situation, and NOT started an internet conversation about GitHub drama. Wtf. She now sounds like a spineless sorority girl with no leadership abilities; and a PR risk. GitHub doesn’t have to publicly respond to this ever; no reciprocal business is going to make decisions based on rumors- which is what all of this is- so they are not losing anything here except an employee. They’ll have to sweet talk recruits, but that’s much easier bc it’s one-on-one. What nonsense.
I am all for celebrating women’s meritorious achievements in technology. But the whole thing is a hugely overblown affair in my opinion.