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Horvath, who was the only female developer at the company when she started, said she once declined a romantic relationship with one of her co-workers.Then, she said, she discovered that code she had written had disappeared.They say they can move faster that way, without becoming bogged down in protocol. executive only in January.“If there is no structure, that’s actually more harmful to marginalized people,” Ms.But a result can be an anything-goes atmosphere, said Julie Ann Horvath, a software designer and developer who publicly quit her job last month at Git Hub, the coding website, saying that there was a culture of intimidation and disrespect of women. Horvath said in an interview while she still worked at Git Hub. Tech needs to grow up in a lot of ways.”At Git Hub, Ms.

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Sexism exists in many places, but start-up companies have particular qualities that can allow problems to go unchecked.

Elissa Shevinsky can pinpoint the moment when she felt that she no longer belonged. 8, watching the live stream of the Tech Crunch Disrupt hackathon on her laptop and i Phone.

Entrepreneurs were showing off their products, and two young Australian men, David Boulton and Jethro Batts, stood behind the podium to give their presentation.

“Titstare is an app where you take photos of yourself staring at tits,” Mr. If ever there was proof that the tech industry needed more women, she thought, this was it. Shevinsky, 35, wasn’t the only one who was disgusted by the presentation. She joined in, writing a blog-post manifesto: “I thought that we didn’t need more women in tech. The next day, Pax Dickinson, who was her business partner in a start-up called Glimpse Labs, as well as the chief technology officer of the news site Business Insider, took to Twitter to defend the Titstare pair against accusations of misogyny. Women who enter fields dominated by men often feel this way. But then something happens — a slight or a major offense — and they suddenly feel like outsiders.

Boulton began, as photographs of women’s chests on a cellphone flashed on the screen behind him. Batts concluded, “This is the breast hack ever.”The crowd — overwhelmingly young, white, hoodie-wearing men — guffawed. “It is not misogyny to tell a sexist joke, or to fail to take a woman seriously, or to enjoy boobies,” he wrote. The question for newcomers to a field has always been when to play along and when to push back.

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