Anita Hill, Ellen Pao visit SF, speak out on workplace harassment

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Two women who changed the public conversation on workplace bias and harassment spoke out in San Francisco Thursday night. (KGO-TV)

Two women who changed the public conversation on workplace bias and harassment spoke out in San Francisco Thursday night.

RELATED: Bill O'Reilly won't return to Fox News after sexual harassment allegations

In 1991, Anita Hill galvanized the country as she accused Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. He got the nomination in the end, but she unleashed a wave of women running for office.

She told a packed audience in San Francisco's Hayes Valley what she thought about Fox News taking Bill O'Reilly off the air.

"Now they are paying him millions of dollars to exit when in fact he should not have been granted the contract because the evidence was clear," Hill said. "We need to be able to look and use this as a case study of what not to do."

"The social media companies don't understand harassment," said Ellen Pao, who filed a gender bias lawsuit against one of Silicon Valley's most revered venture capital firms.

She lost, but in the process ignited a debate on bias in tech.

"When you look at tech, it comes from the top and there's a lack of willpower to put in the change," Pao said. "It's so much easier to push women out."

The audience was inspired.

"I am a survivor of workplace harassment," said an attendant of the talk. "And it does affect your life in many, many ways."

"It never stops until we start treating each other better," said another attendant.

RELATED: Uber CEO calls for investigation after sexual harassment claims

Both Hill and Pao say social media is helping to hold companies accountable and raise public consciousness about sexual harassment.

Related Topics:
newsharassmentworkplacesexual harassmentcrimesex crimelawsuitsex assaultsex abuseSan Francisco
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