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Tuesday, 15 August 2017

18 year old girl seeking career advice in the London tech scene finds herself on the receiving end of inappropriate messages

18 year old girl seeking career advice in the London tech scene finds herself on the receiving end of inappropriate messages


It's a sad state of affairs when a woman reaches out for career advice from an industry influencer, and instead finds herself on the receiving end of inappropriate messages. 



When 18-year-old Lydia Jones contacted a male entrepreneur for career advice, the conversation quickly took a handbrake turn into creepy territory. 




Jones' says she wanted a steer on entering the tech scene in London as her start-up Trooops is based in the north of England and she's found it "very hard" to find people "willing to help" with growth and funding in that area. Jones said she reached out to the man after seeing him post "numerous times" in the London Startup and Entrepreneurs Facebook group. 
"I simply asked him if he could introduce me to any mentors or advisors in London for growth and funding," says Jones. 


But, the conversation that followed wasn't quite what she had in mind:
18 year old girl seeking career advice in the London tech scene finds herself on the receiving end of inappropriate messages


The entrepreneur began by asking her age, then her relationship status, and if her "BF" helps her. 
When Jones responded that she is gay, the man replied, "Are you quite open about your sexuality?" 
When she said she was, he followed up by asking, "So men don't turn you on at all?" Jones replied stating that she thought he was a "businessman," to which he replied, "I'm also a human being too right?" 
When the man involved was contacted, He agreed to comment anonymously, confirming he sent Jones the messages. But he also defended his behaviour:
18 year old girl seeking career advice in the London tech scene finds herself on the receiving end of inappropriate messages

"In the end I didn't say much else because I found out that it wasn't appropriate to ask her even though she said she was open," he said. "The digital and text word can be misunderstood" but if "this was said in person it wouldn't have been a big deal," he added 
"Richard Branson said all publicity is good publicity so I'm glad she's spreading my brand around. I haven't committed a crime here," he continued. Asked if he could see how his messages could be perceived as inappropriate, he said: "Sure it's inappropriate if she doesn't admit "yes" to being sexually open."


18 year old girl seeking career advice in the London tech scene finds herself on the receiving end of inappropriate messages

IMAGE: RACHEL THOMPSON / MASHABLE

"If you heard me talking in person you'd know I'm a nice person and I'm a very open conversationalist," he added. 
When asked about sexism and harassment in the tech industry,  Lydia Jones says there is an "overall vibe" she gets when she contacts people "on a daily basis." She says she senses a reluctance to "help females and especially someone aged 18". 


Source: marshable.com


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