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Julie Ann Horvath quits over sexism, harassment. GitHub begins investigation

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Startup programming network, GitHub, promises a full investigation following a public announcement by employee Julie Horvath regarding what led to her recent resignation. Horvath, a former engineer with GitHub, announced on Friday through a series of tweets that she’d resigned, and indicated she’d been harassed by someone in a leadership position within the startup.

One of those tweets, reportedly from Horvath, stated, “To marginalized people everywhere, companies are not protecting you, they’re protecting their worth. Don’t be tricked. Protect yourself.” Other tweets attributed to Horvath stated, “There are good people at GitHub and leadership should be accountable to them, not predators and harassers.”

Horvath told TechCrunch in a recent interview that she felt that she was treated differently then men in the startup. She also spoke about meeting a founder’s wife for drinks and how the woman advised her that she played a part in her husband’s decision making at the company, and how she was warned not to leave and make unfavorable comments. Horvath also spoke of other run-ins with the same woman, as well as what she called unwanted advances by another engineer within the company.

Sunday evening, in a blog post, GitHub CEO & Co-Founder Chris Wanstrath said, “I am deeply saddened by these developments….”, he went on to say, “We know we have to take action and have begun a full investigation. While that’s ongoing, and effective immediately, the relevant founder has been put on leave, as has the referenced GitHub engineer.”

Wanstrath added the founder’s wife, who was part of the media reports, is no longer permitted in the office and has never had the power to hire or fire at the company.

Wanstrath ended by saying “I would like to personally apologize to Julie. It’s certain that there were things we could have done differently. We wish Julie well in her future endeavors.”

Horvath told TechCrunch she decided to speak up after an unfavorable post about her departure ended up on the social network, Secret. Horvath originally joined GitHub in 2012 and founded Passion Projects, which aimed at producing more women as role models in the technology field.

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