Female employees at a Tesla company town-hall meeting in March expressed their experiences of sexual harassment and mistreatment by male managers. The company has already quickly responded with leadership and policy changes. One employee, however, has gone as far as to call the factory a "predator zone" of harassment. This town-hall meeting was reported to have 70 to 100 people attending, but the CEO Elon Musk did not attend. A Tesla spokesperson quoted "the topics raised in this meeting were followed up directly with those willing to discuss." He continues, "we have a no-tolerance policy and have made changes to leadership, policy and training to continue to improve our work environment."
The meeting originated from an email that was sent to female employees inviting them to a "lunch 'n learn" to discover essential oils. The company had to postpone the lunch after it received vocal criticism and it replaced it with the town-hall on diversity, where women shared the stories of gender discrimination. Although the company insists the town-hall was planned in advance and was not reactionary to the lunch. The town-hall meeting was held by a group called Women in Tesla. The group consistently holds meetings to receive feedback about the work environment.
"The reason groups like Women in Tesla exists is precisely because we want to provide employees with an outlet to share opinions and feedback in a constructive manner. At Tesla, we regularly host events like the Town Hall, and only someone who is intentionally trying to misconstrue the facts and paint Tesla in a negative light could perceive such meetings as something negative." AJ Vandermeyden, a female engineer who is currently suing the company over sexism and harassment claims is one of the sources that have described the meeting. Vandermeyden was fired in June. "The termination was based on Ms. Vandermeyden behaving in what the evidence indicates is a fundamentally false and misleading manner, not as a result of retaliation for the lawsuit," a Tesla spokesperson has defended. The factory is Tesla's only factory. The first mass market produced Model 3 has just begun to roll off the assembly line. The first 30 are to be delivered at the end of this month at an event.