Five former employees at Elon Musk's space firm SpaceX have come forward to speak out about the sexual harassment they faced in the company and how managers and the HR handled their complaints poorly. This comes with six more women filing separate lawsuits against Musk's electric car company Tesla, in the US, for rampant sexual harassment at the workplace.
One former employee Ashley Kosak, who left SpaceX in November, wrote of her experiences at the rocket company in an essay that was published in Lioness. She worked as a build reliability engineer in Cape Canaveral, Florida. In this essay, she detailed multiple instances of sexual harassment how despite several complaints to the HR, the matter was ignored. The other four former employees said that they faced similar experiences at the company.
They shared their own troubling experiences at SpaceX along with witnessing other women and non-binary people being harassed with The Verge. Shockingly, in three cases, SpaceX HR was made aware of the allegations and had inconsistent responses to the situation.
One of the employees pointed out that SpaceX's lack of action was possibly driven by management's desire to avoid work disruptions and the company’s reluctance to hold some men accountable for bad behaviour Through this essay, Kosak aims to put out the message that will also help others in the space industry realise that any harassment they might be experiencing should not be tolerated.
In light of the publication of Kosak’s essay, SpaceX has sent a company-wide email to SpaceX employees, reminding them of the company's "no A-hole" policy and that harassment will not be tolerated. Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO of SpaceX through this email also encouraged people to report any harassment they might experience and engage in timely reporting because they can’t fix what they don’t know.