Ex-SpaceX Engineer Says She Was Constantly Sexually Harassed by Coworkers

She claims that her attempts to report the issues to HR fell on deaf ears.

Rife with Sexism

A former SpaceX engineer claims that the company fostered a culture of misogyny and wanton sexual assault that forced her to eventually quit. 

Ashley Kosak, a former mission integration engineer at SpaceX, penned an essay in Lioness in which she described the company as “so rife with sexism, the only remedy is for women to leave.”

She says it was a work environment in which “countless men made sexual advances” towards her, touched her without her consent, and even showed up to her house. 

“I reported each incident of sexual harassment I experienced to HR, and nothing was done,” Kosak wrote. “I was told that matters of this nature were too private to openly discuss with the perpetrators.”

Elon’s Responsibility

Kosak called CEO Elon Musk out specifically for what she says was his role in fostering a toxic company culture, and minced no words in her criticisms of the billionaire. 

“Elon Musk’s behavior bears a remarkable similarity to the behavior of a sadistic and abusive man who had previously been part of my life,” Kosak said. She later added that the CEO “uses engineers as a resource to be mined rather than a team to be led” and that “misogyny is rampant” in his company. 

She also criticized his claims that the company is on the verge of bankruptcy, despite the fact that he wields the money and resources to prevent that fate.  

“If more money is needed, Elon could ‘work harder’ (as he frequently admonishes his engineers to do) to tap fundraising sources, rather than threaten bankruptcy,” Kosak wrote. 

“Instead, he pushes engineers to the point of burnout, berates employees for not meeting the expectations he shifts at whiplash speed, or threatens workers with job loss if they don’t increase their output,” she added.

Tesla Too

Unfortunately, Kosak’s experiences resonate with other dispatches from Musk-world. Tesla has been hit with numerous lawsuits in the past month from employees who were sexually harassed by their co-workers. 

If they hold up, the allegations present a dark reflection of Musk and the type of culture he fosters — as well, interesting, as similar allegations at SpaceX competitor Blue Origin. As employees begin to speak out, it’ll be striking to see whether we hear more haunting stories of shameful behavior at his companies.

READ MORE: At SpaceX, we’re told we can change the world. I couldn’t, however, stop getting sexually harassed. [Lioness]

More on toxic behavior: Woman Accuses Tesla of Disgusting Sexual Harassment

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