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Is Silicon Valley's culture of sexism at an end?

Silicon Valley has a history of high-tech innovation fueled by venture capital investments. More recently, the region in northern California has also established a growing reputation for sexism and harassment of women.

The most recent case involves Justin Caldbeck. The venture capital investor announced that he was taking an indefinite leave of absence from Binary Capital following accusations of sexual harassing female tech professionals.

Caldbeck had initially denied the claims of groping and late-night texts, accusing the women of attacking his character. Throwing support his way, Binary Capital claims that no evidence exists that he did anything illegal.

However, Caldbeck’s recent statement takes a markedly different tone, claiming that he was deeply ashamed of his lack of awareness and that the “past 24 hours have been the darkest of my life.” He continued, “I hate that my behavior played a role in perpetrating a gender-hostile environment.”

He even went so far as to thank the women and promising to take a "sobering look into my own character and behavior that I can no longer ignore." He promised to seek professional counseling.

Accusations of purported immoral and outrageous behavior in Silicon Valley are not exactly breaking news that earns banner headlines. Caldbeck’s revelations are part of a larger culture of sexism.

Significant progress started in 2015. In spite of losing her lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins over gender discrimination, Ellen Pao is credited for breaking the silence of Silicon Valley’s atmosphere of bad behavior. She remains a vocal advocate of women in tech.

The latest example involves Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick recent resignation after revelations surfaced over workplace culture problems. A blog written by former Uber engineer Susan Fowler alleging widespread sexism and harassment led to an internal investigation and subsequent termination of 20 employees.

As accusations continue and more of those in power are held to account, silence over harassment may become the exception rather than the rule. Changes may be coming to an area of the country already responsible for changing the world.

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