GitHub has become one of the leading tools for companies and open source projects to collaborate on code with others, and it's also been trying to promote the role of women in tech through a monthly talk series called Passion Projects. But now the talk series' creator, developer Julie Ann Horvath, says that she has left GitHub over issues of harassment, writing that the work she's done to make the company a better place for women has come undone. "I regret defending GitHub's culture to feminists for the last two years," Horvath writes on Twitter.
"I demand to be treated with respect and talked to like a human."
Horvath does not go into detail about what led to her quitting, but her tweets suggest that she feels that company leaders attacked her character and work. She says this has been ongoing for two years. "Don't stand for aggressive behavior that's disguised as 'professional feedback' and demand that harassment isn't tolerated," Horvath writes in one tweet. In another, Horvath says she was "accused of having an ego because I demand to be treated with respect and talked to like a human." Horvath plans to write more about her experiences at the company soon. GitHub did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.
For now, the allegations speak poorly to one of the more increasingly important companies in tech. Horvath was among GitHub's first female developers, and she's written previously that women's roles in tech are improving, with GitHub making progress too. While GitHub has now gone on to hire more women, Horvath alleges that the company needs to start paying attention to how they're treated. "Tech companies need to think less about 'being on good behavior' publicly," she writes, "and more about providing healthy work environments for workers."
I'm not quitting tech. I'm not gonna hide. This is my community. These are my people.— Julie Ann Horvath (@nrrrdcore) March 15, 2014
I'm only interested in telling my story so that others can learn from it. It seems like my comments here may have been enough.— Julie Ann Horvath (@nrrrdcore) March 15, 2014
To women who may be considering their own situations, reach out and more importantly, hire an employment lawyer and seek council asap.— Julie Ann Horvath (@nrrrdcore) March 15, 2014