Mixed-reality outfit Magic Leap is being sued for sexual discrimination, by an employee who was recruited by the company to help it become more diverse and appeal to female-identifying employees.
Tannen Campbell was VP of strategic marketing and brand identity, and was told that part of her remit was to highlight the lack of gender diversity in the company. She claims that she had to endure a hostile working environment and sexual discrimination. She also alleged that the firm used misleading marketing materials that gave a false impression of Magic Leap’s capabilities.
Magic Leap has been under-fire a lot recently regarding the marketing of its capabilities, as the company has raised $1b but failed to bring a single product to market so far. These allegations of sexual discrimination are altogether more serious.
Campbell told a Florida court that Magic Leap’s CEO Rony Abovitz took seven months to watch her presentation, and left halfway through. She also describes the meeting of a ‘Female Brain Trust Initiative’ aimed towards improving diversity which was attended by seven female employees and several men. While a series of proposals were made about the hardware that would have been beneficial for women, none of these proposed changes were ever implemented and the male employees didn’t show up for any future meetings held.
Campbell also highlighted some very disturbing examples of misogyny in the corporate culture, including an image of a male and female doctor which prompted the comment of "Look, it’s bring your wife to work day".
Finally, the lawsuit says: "Campbell was terminated after she, like the child in The Emperor’s New Clothes who blurted out that the Emperor was naked, challenged Magic Leap’s CEO to acknowledge the depths of misogyny in Magic Leap’s culture and take steps to correct a gender imbalance that negatively affects the company’s core culture."