Sheryl Sandberg has weighed in on the allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Harvey Weinstein.
The Facebook COO was interviewed by Axios’ Mike Allen on Thursday about how Russian ads on Facebook influenced the 2016 election.
When a conversation shifted to the subject of diversity and gender equality in Silicon Valley, it led to a question from Allen about Sandberg’s thoughts on the recent sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
Allen asked Sandberg if women should feel discouraged about gender equality after hearing about these types of abuses.
Here is Sandberg’s response in full:
“The Harvey Weinstein thing is abysmal. And it’s not just his behaviour, it’s the behaviour of everyone around them. This should never happen, and when it does happen, people should lose their jobs. What he is going through is what every person should be afraid of so that they don’t do it. It just shouldn’t happen, full stop.
Should we be discouraged? Discouraged happens, but it’s not going to help us. I think we need to be determined. Determined because I think we can do better. More diverse teams on race and gender are going to perform better. So if we can convince people — women and men — that 1 in 10 [women in company leadership] isn’t enough because it is a competitive advantage to have the voices around the table who are going to make better decisions. That’s when we’ll succeed.”
Last week, The New York Times uncovered years of sexual-harassment allegations against Weinstein; The New Yorker followed up with an article in which three women accused Weinstein of raping them. Since the allegations came to light, several women in Hollywood have spoken up about abuse they say they suffered at the hands of Weinstein, and stars like Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet have issued statements condemning him.
The news has reverberated beyond Hollywood, however: Barack Obama issued a statement that he and Michelle were “disgusted” by the reports, and Hillary Clinton has said she plans to gift previous campaign contributions from Weinstein to charity.
Sandberg, who has campaigned for years for gender equality in the tech world, is the most notable tech exec to weigh in on the news so far, and one of the most high-profile women in Silicon Valley.
You can watch Sandberg’s full interview on the Axios site.
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