She took on Tesla for discrimination. Now others are speaking up. ‘It’s too big to deny’

A female engineer who came forward with claims of harassment says she was fired in retaliation. But now other women have voiced similar concerns

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day was “be bold for change” in the fight for a “more gender inclusive world” – but some at Tesla had a different plan for the day.

It was an opportunity for women to discover essential oils. A “health and wellness group” at the electric car company invited female staff members to an 8 March “lunch ‘n learn” about oils and how they can help improve people’s “health and happiness”, according to emails seen by the Guardian, which reveal that the proposed event was quickly met with vocal criticism. It was particularly offensive to some given that a week earlier, AJ Vandermeyden, a female engineer, had publicly accused Elon Musk’s company of sexual harassment and discrimination.

Related: Female engineer sues Tesla, describing a culture of ‘pervasive harassment’

Related: Top Silicon Valley investor resigns as allegation of sexual assault emerges

I’m the one who spoke up, and they’re saying, ‘One way or another, you have to leave.’ How is that right?

Related: Tesla factory workers reveal pain, injury and stress: ‘Everything feels like the future but us’

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