By The Stanford Research Interpretive Center

A series exploring the social and cultural echo-chamber of entitlement and take-what-you-want frat-house extremism that typifies Silicon Valley venture capitalists and their tech CEO's.

Every few years a burst of revelation articles appear and reveal the latest batch of sexual abuses and misogyny horrors levied upon Stanford interns and Palo Alto young ladies by Silicon Valley "Elites". After a week of discussion, those very same venture capitalists grind out orders to Facebook, Google and their main stream media to shut all of the media coverage down. The news stories disappear and the tech oligarchs can get back to raping and pillaging.

The VC's go into recovery mode. They put pictures of their female interns and secretaries on their "Team" page on their websites in a grid of photos to make it look like "we hire girls too" and they make the pictures the same size as the old Jewish bosses who run each VC firm. They pay off the pregnant ones and send the shell-shocked ones to another city. They issue the boiler-plate "we will try harder" BS media statement (which actually means "we will try harder not to get caught"). They pull a few Twitter accounts and they continue to rape, abuse and pervert.

They can afford nearly undetectable date rape drugs, skin applied topical narcotic night club stimulants, 60 proof alcohol, pheromone and oxytocin mood manipulation vapor sprays and "I AM RICH AND I CAN TAKE CARE OF YOU" Aston Martins and Ferrari's. For $800.00 they can get any girl or guy in a sexual position that they never would have gotten into if they were in a non- compromised mental state.

They could hire a hooker but the ultimate goal of Silicon Valley Oligarchs is to control and manipulate vulnerable people. They are not into it for sexual pleasure. They do these twisted things in order to raise themselves up in their own eyes. The hookers that Google executives hire say that the executives hire them so that they can be "dismissed" after they are used for sex. Every intern says that they felt "used". The vulnerable female entrepreneurs that they extort sex from (with promises of funding) say that they feel "raped". Nobody feels good after an encounter with these men.

The men's names are famous and notorious. Their firms are Greylock, Accel, Kleiner Perkins, Intel Ventures, Google Ventures, Firelake, Khosla, Westley and other names that you see in the news every day. Here are some of these stories:

Tech Oligarch ‘Sexism Is a Hard Thing to Bring Up’ Because They Will Get Revenge If You Do

Stories from the front lines of the battle to lean in.

Many women have stories that, like these statistics, point to incremental change. But in the aggregate, there’s still much work to be done. Worldwide, gender-based pay disparity has hardly budged; ditto the amount of housework women are expected to perform, the number of U.S. companies offering paid family leave, and the number of women CEOs in the Fortune 500. “We had a lot of work to do then, and we have a lot of work to do now,” Sandberg says. “Until we started talking about it, I think people didn’t quite realize how slow the progress was.”

Kate Gordon Murphy.

Kate Gordon Murphy
32, director of value-based medicine, Biogen Inc., Boston

The junior-level consultants are very much leaning in, both men and women. We have to course-correct because they fall on the table leaning in. Like a 22-year-old coming in and saying, “I’m going to talk to the CEO about my point of view,” or interrupting very senior-level people to tell them they disagree. There’s a time and a place.

I started telling people, there’s a thing called leaning in with grace. I had a junior-level female consultant, we were in a small conference room, and the senior-level client came in and she refused to give up her seat. She was very much of the perspective, I’m here, I’m being heard, I am going to lean in. But that is not appropriate. We definitely had to course-correct. One person told me, “I read this book that says I should sit at the table.” You’re right, that is great, I’m really glad you read that. When you are a senior manager, that would be a time to keep your seat. But as a brand-new hire straight out of undergrad, now is a time of learning. When we’re in our one-on-ones and in our small core group, interject. When we are delivering a client presentation, that is a time to listen and learn. It used to only be men we had to do that with.

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Jasvinder Nakhwal
44, partner, Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP, London

In our firm, we are very flexible in terms of our working arrangements for women. We’re not massive, so the decision-making is far more subject to need and what’s fair. The majority of associates are women and have had children, and they do often come back and ask for a four-day working week, or one day working from home.

I would say that women are generally more confident than when I first started. They still speak a slightly different language, though. Women are less inclined to be assertive in what they’re asking for or to use the word “I” or “my.” That’s how men express themselves and don’t think twice about that.

Emily Deadwyler
Senior vice president of marketing, Bluecore Inc., New York

I’ve read the book twice. The first time I read it, I recognized a lot of the things she said, particularly around the part about what we can do to advance our careers—to literally lean in. I’m a big believer in taking on the things you can change: It’s not easy, and I find it much more empowering. There were also parts of it where I thought, She’s in a really good place to be able to say this. I particularly remember her talking about being pregnant and being able to get parking changed. Not many people at work can do that.

I can’t say that I have consciously seen women [leaning in]. I can say that I have more women asking me for raises recently, but I put some of this as generational more than a tonal shift, if that makes sense. Men in general are more aware of not cutting off women, and women are more comfortable in saying, “Wait a minute, you cut me off.” And when a woman says that, it’s acceptable, it’s not disrespectful. Especially the younger men that I work with, they grew up expecting that.

[Women] have grown up playing sports next to men. More of them grew up thinking, Of course it’s the same. The confidence in sitting there running a meeting when they’re pretty junior in their career and expecting a positive, respectful response ... one particular product manager came to brief the executive team, and just her poise and confidence, to me that was remarkable. I don’t know that, 20 years ago, I would’ve seen that—or even 10 years ago in someone so young.

Doug Darst.

Doug Darst 
46, director of engineering, Treehouse Island Inc., Keiser, Ore.

I can think of one person that I hired at a previous company, a woman, and it was probably my first exposure to a woman negotiating a higher salary and a change in a title—that would’ve been four years ago. It didn’t surprise me too much that we went to the offer part of the conversation and she was not going to settle for anything less than that. She knew what she was worth. It was unique at that time, and I thought it was awesome. A superimpressive candidate from start to finish.

I almost feel like the women who do have the confidence level of their skill set are more the exception than the rule. We really want to improve the diversity of our engineering team, and I just don’t get a whole lot of women applicants. I don’t get a lot of minority applicants, either. I feel like Sandberg talks a little bit about impostor syndrome: I wonder if there’s that notion of women saying, “Unless I can put a check mark next to each of these requirements in the job description, I’m not going to apply”? I get all types of applications from male employees who don’t even come close to meeting the job description. It’s probably a cultural thing.

Gong Xiangwei
48, president of the hydrocolloids business unit, Royal DSM, Shanghai

After Lean In came out, everyone started talking about it. There are a lot of women organizations and initiatives, but I thought, This one is great. I have never seen something of such scale. It is not limited to one little district, one little company. They connect people from all places—different companies, different universities, different cities, and different areas. I was excited but also a little skeptical that it would be sustainable. Lean In here in China is definitely beyond what I initially imagined. I have a lot of successful women friends that see no ceiling, no limits for themselves.

Sara Hedenberg.

Sara Hedenberg
37, editor and project leader, Bonnier Carlsen, Stockholm

My line of business is really woman-dominated—I think it’s like 80 percent women in children’s books, maybe more. But of course, the higher management is more male. Right now at my company, they have this equality and diversity project that  … I don’t know how it is in the U.S., but in Sweden, the book business is really not diverse. We need to be more equal on every level, not just gender but where you come from and things like that. The management has started a project to make the company more open and really look at inequalities and try to make it better.

I think the climate is changing some, especially after the #MeToo campaign. That was really big in Sweden—not just concerning sexual harassment, but also encouraging women to speak up and reminding men of the injustices that women are exposed to. At my company, we talk about that a lot. Old structures can’t put a lid on things that need to be spoken about.

Ellen Leibenluft.

Ellen Leibenluft 
64, senior investigator, National Institute of Mental Health, Chevy Chase, Md.

First of all, can I make a confession? I didn’t read it. I read a lot about it. We have a women’s group here, and we have something at the NIH called the Women Scientist Advisors—that all started way before Lean In. I think there’s something about being in psychiatry and psychology and neurology, we talk about these things a lot. I remember one of my fellows said to me, “I’ve been advised by other mentors that I need to act more like a man. What do you think about that?” I don’t subscribe to that. I’m a woman, and I want to be a woman. I don’t want to be naive about what I need to do, but I want to be part of shifting the world a little bit.

In my specific institution, one of the big changes of the last five years has been there are many more women in high leadership positions. I think it was a combination of an awareness that it was long overdue and there being good candidates for those positions at those times. That has made a big difference. You hate to generalize—I know many men who are extremely sensitive to interpersonal processes. And again, I hang out with a lot of psychiatrists—I don’t want to stereotype—but I think there is a somewhat different perspective that used to be pretty absent at the highest levels. Think about the two-body problem. It happens [with marriages] in science a lot: You can’t just go anywhere and get a job, so who is not going to work anymore? Of course, for decades that was the woman. A woman in a senior leadership position has already had to deal with the two-body problem. That changes your perspective.

Michael Eisenberg
46, co-founder and partner, Aleph, Jerusalem

I don’t remember Lean In making as much of an impact here. It’s Sheryl, so anything she says is important, but no, I don’t think it has made as much of an impact here as it did there. Israel is a different place. Because of the military service that happens here, the home front command is run by a lot of women. They end up in powerful positions—we’ve had numerous women foreign ministers, et cetera. I’m not sure the same kind of analysis really applies here as it does [in the U.S.]. But I could biased. We all come with our biases.

To be perfectly candid, I don’t think of gender as an issue. I consider myself gender-blind—somebody is talented or they’re not talented. At Aleph, we have an extraordinarily liberal maternity leave policy: It’s take as much time as you want. That kind of policy attracts supertalented women who want to be mothers and put their family in an important spot in their life. It’s a tiny country. Whatever talent we can find we should be supportive of.

Sohini Rajola.

Sohini Rajola 
42, managing director and regional vice president for South Asia and Indochina, Western Union, Mumbai

I have personally bought a couple dozen copies of that book. It’s something that I find very, very handy, just as a reference. If there’s a capable woman who is trying to retreat for some reason, it’s easier to give her the book to read and have a conversation around it. They understand it is not just happening to them, it’s happening across the board.

One of the very first chapters is about sitting at the table. When I walk into meetings and I find women not occupying the main space or retreating into the background, I invite the women to sit at the table and participate. A boost of confidence is needed. It kind of comes as a surprise: Once you get them there, they are comfortable.

From an India perspective, I don’t think you’re going to [hear women] say “Let me finish” or “Do not interrupt me.” I think what is important is that women, they are generally speaking up more. It’s not as if your personality can change, but it’s a way to find the courage to speak up.

Lucian Lindy.

Lucian Liddy 
51, head of SAP Mission Control Center North America, SAP, Newtown Square, Pa.

It’s more a question of the personalities. There are women and men asking about [pay] increases, asking about career opportunities. Women and men who are pushy. I also have situations, for example, that I was very supportive to one or the other woman [in our German office], but then she decided to focus more on family instead of career. If you compare that to the situation in the U.S., it is much more common that women have their own career. In Germany it’s more difficult because you do not have that many day-care centers. You also have a different social pressure. Here there’s been far more progress.

Today in job interviews, [men and women] ask for work-life balance. I was a little bit—I wouldn’t say shocked, but something like that. In my time, you would never ask that. People would think, This guy doesn’t want to work. But then sooner or later you understand where it is coming from. They may have seen their parents having burnout or stuff like that. These days you get people coming into the company, they were born when I was finished with my studies, people coming with tattoos and piercings and all these kinds of things that would be impossible 20 years ago. You have more diversity and more tolerance between different lifestyles. It’s a continuous process.

Elizabeth Bauman.

Elizabeth Bauman
34, senior marketing manager, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Training Centers, Columbia, Md.

I read Lean In when it came out and got this vision of what my career could be like. I’d spent five years freelancing in digital marketing, I had two kids. But I read that and thought, O.K., I’m ready to be the loudest, most present human at the table. I consulted a career coach, polished my résumé and dove into finding a full-time content strategy and marketing position. I was so ready to be that woman.

I got an offer with a software developer. The first year was good, and the second year was bad. The company went through a re-org and the culture collapsed, and it just wasn’t a good place for me. Now I’m at University of Maryland, Baltimore County; we run business training sessions, cybersecurity sessions, that sort of thing. Their recruiter contacted me, and at first I told her the pay was too low. She sent my résumé along to the president anyway and told me to ask for what I wanted. I was like, I see what you did there. Nice move.

I have seen a full trajectory of how women operate in the workplace. We’re all a little louder, a little less likely to apologize. We have more agency in deciding what we want to do and how far we want to go. We talk about it openly in meetings, casually over lunch. It’s not that the women in my office are looking at their career prospects and thinking, Yes! I will get to the top! It’s less of an expectation than it is a possibility. That’s definitely new. That didn’t happen before.

Christina Mangurian.

Christina Mangurian
43, associate professor of psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco

Oh yeah, I remember when [Lean In] came out. I loved the book—I had it underlined. What has happened in the past five years, implicit bias against women and gender discrimination have become a part of the common lexicon. It’s not just about “I can go for it, I can lean in, I’m ambitious.” We have to contort ourselves to lean over and around and bend backwards to get where we want to be.

In academia, we lose women at the assistant level. A lot of my physician friends [with kids] got off the academic track, or they went to private practice so they can go pick up the kids and have Fridays off. Even with me: I’m in a leadership position, my husband is an equal partner [raising our son]. I was asked by many senior leaders to apply for a job running a major clinical department, but I said, I’m not going to go for that job, because I know that job requires a lot of face time. I can’t do that right now. It’s hard not to get annoyed at the whole thing, frankly. It just feels like so much.

I have this group of junior women [colleagues] who are asking their leaders for more. Right now, I have to pump in a room with some of my colleagues. We have to figure out how to get catastrophic leave for faculty. Why isn’t there paid leave if someone is really sick in your family? They’re asking more of those questions and recognizing they could have a voice together.

Eric Helfer
Director and head of sales Asia-Pacific, World Wide Technology Inc., Singapore

Our organization is all about being fair and really listening to what our employees say all the time. We really emphasize that—the constant 360 feedback is kind of the core of our DNA at WWT. We have a philosophy of, look, I’ll always be coaching my team, but I also expect my team to coach me, and I expect your peers to coach each other. That comes down from our CEO. I wouldn’t say specifically we’ve changed anything, but I do believe that women are leaning in and speaking up more. I think that’s a great thing. It should never be any other way.

Really, I feel like the ideal state is where diversity and inclusion aren’t talked about anymore, and we just go about our days. Maybe I’m an idealist. I know we’re trending in that direction. It’s been an exciting time, as far as seeing how this shift has come about.

—With assistance from Suzi Ring, Olga Kharif, and Dexter Roberts