Last month, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill to expand protection for people who report discrimination in the workplace.
A new website offers tech workers tips on how to report mistreatment by their employers.
And Apple responded to a shareholder proposal asking it to evaluate how it used nondisclosure agreements in employee discrimination and harassment cases.
The different events have one thing – or, rather, one person – in common: Ifeoma Ozoma.
Since last year, Ozoma, 29, a former employee of Pinterest, Facebook and Google, has emerged as a central figure among technology whistleblowers. The daughter of Nigerian immigrants who attended Yale University, she has supported and mentored tech workers who needed help reporting, lobbied for more legal protection for those employees, and urged tech companies and their shareholders to change. your reporting policies.
He helped inspire and pass California’s new law, called “Silenced No More,” which prohibits companies from using confidentiality agreements to silence workers who report any type of discrimination. Ozoma has also published a website, The Tech Worker Handbook, which provides information on whether and how workers should report.
“I find it very sad that in the technology sector there is still such a lack of responsibility that individuals have to do it,” denouncing, Ozoma said in an interview.
Their efforts – which have alienated at least one ally along the way – are increasingly in the spotlight as restless tech employees take more action against their employers. Last month, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, revealed that she had leaked thousands of internal documents about the damage to the social network. (Facebook has since been rebranded Meta.) Apple has also recently faced upset from its employees, who have raised concerns about verbal abuse, sexual harassment, retaliation and discrimination.
Ozoma is now working to directly pressure tech companies to stop using nondisclosure agreements to prevent employees from reporting discrimination at work. He has also met with activists and organizations that want to pass legislation similar to the “No More Silence” law elsewhere. And he’s in constant contact with other activist tech workers, including those who have organized against Google and Apple.