But in the aerospace industry in general, there are more men than women, about eight to one, according to census data collected by Data USA. More women have shared stories of sexism and harassment while at work. Women who work as interns and seek full-time employment can be particularly vulnerable to harassment and other forms of discrimination, especially when education about sexual harassment is scarce, as Ms Kosak said. Human resources departments, including those at SpaceX, employees say, have not always been quick to punish or fire employees who have been the subject of an investigation.
Women at other aerospace companies have also described discriminatory dynamics in the workplace. In September, in an essay on Lioness, a group of 21 current and former employees of Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company, wrote that the company is rife with sexism and retaliated against those who spoke out about security issues. The company denies the allegations.
Ms. Kosak said in an interview that she felt compelled to make her experience at SpaceX public after seeing the essay on Blue Origin written by Alexandra Abrams, the company’s former head of communications with employees, who wrote in 2019 by Blue Origin was fired. .
On November 8, Ms Kosak said in an interview that she had met Ms Shotwell and Brian Bjelde, the company’s chief human resources officer, about her complaint against the man who groped her in 2018, as well as other complaints of sexual discrimination. but got no further. “It was a meeting where I spoke to them, they to me, and we all left and that was that,” she said.
When Ms. Kosak resigned on November 22, she said the man who touched her in 2018 was still working at SpaceX. The man’s LinkedIn profile shows that he is still employed by the company.
Julia CrowleyFarenga interned at SpaceX from 2015 to 2017 while attending Purdue University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She accused SpaceX of retaliation in a 2020 lawsuit after reporting awkward interactions with her manager, who would schedule longer performance meetings with her than her male colleagues and repeatedly questioned and commented on her dating life. Another manager allowed her to transfer to another department, she said. But when she applied for a job in 2018, the lawsuit says, she found that the second manager kept her from getting an offer, despite high performance ratings. Ms. CrowleyFarenga and SpaceX reached a settlement in the lawsuit earlier this year.
The former intern who worked for the company for five years said she witnessed and heard about sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. While she stayed with other women during her internships in 2016 and 2017, “half of them had stories about situations where they felt uncomfortable,” she said.