Is TikTok a Misgonynistic Company? This Former Managing Director Claims Yes

Katie Ellen Puris was hired by TikTok as a managing director back in 2019, but she soon found herself included in a so-called “kill list” created by ByteDance’s chairman Lidong Zhang. With experience working at Google and Facebook under her belt, Puris came in with exceptional credentials that resulted in her heading the global business marketing team within a couple months of being hired, but in spite of the fact that this is the case, it appears that Zhang’s misogynistic views ended her career.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that Puris has filed a lawsuit against TikTok for wrongful discrimination. She claims that she was fired due to not being as meek or submissive as the company expects its female employees to be, with Zhang’s extremely old fashioned beliefs about women requiring them to be as docile as possible.

As if that wasn't enough, Puris was singled out for being close to 50 years old, with higher ups at TikTok showing favoritism towards younger employees that were more likely to bend to their will than might have been the case otherwise. On top of all of that, she claims that she experienced sexual harassment at an industry event, and that TikTok didn’t take the appropriate actions in the aftermath. The combination of all of these accusations paints a picture of an extremely negative culture regarding women at the company with all things having been considered and taken into account.

Her role ended up being minimized to the point where she hardly had any influence at her job anymore, and she was penalized for complaining about the company’s lax response to the sexual harassment she went through. Puris is currently suing for damages and wants the case to go to a trial where it can be presented before a jury. It will be interesting to see where things go from here on out, since it indicates a massive culture clash between the Chinese social media behemoth and the American market that it is so eager to break into.

Photo: DIW - AIGen

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