Former Employee Alleged Oil Company Has Culture of 'Treating Women as Sexual Playthings'

Former Employee Alleged Oil Company Has Culture of 'Treating Women as Sexual Playthings'
Image:Associated Press

Several former employees at Andarako Petroleum Corporation, an oil company that employs more than 4,000 people, are alleging sexual harassment at the company’s Denver office. The report is a particularly egregious example of workplace sexual harassment, in an industry that is around 80 percent male.

Bloomberg reports on a 2017 letter written by former employee Robin Olsen with the help of a lawyer, in which she wrote, “Anadarko has a culture of treating women as sexual playthings who are present at work merely for men’s sexual gratification.”

Six former anonymous employees also alleged serial sexual misconduct and alleged gender-based discrimination. Bloomberg reports:

Two of the former Anadarko employees spoke of a supervisor, known for joking that female employees should provide oral sex to get better jobs, who was promoted while the women who complained about him were passed over and eventually left the company.
One woman said her supervisor gave her derisive nicknames, publicly joked about her presumed sexual activity and cut her annual bonus when she complained.

There’s also this:

Olsen’s letter alleges that Brad Holly, who oversaw the company’s Rocky Mountain assets, and Scott Moore, who supervised marketing, carried on sexual relationships with female subordinates. Olsen said she frequently heard the executives having sex with the women behind closed doors in the office, the letter said. When she complained, Holly and Moore stopped speaking to her and gave away plum assignments that were part of her job description that could’ve led to career advancement, according to the letter.

Holly denied the allegations, saying, “I certainly never engaged in any discriminatory or retaliatory conduct, and any allegations that I engaged in inappropriate behavior in the office are categorically false.” Moore declined to comment.

Anadarko spokeswoman Jennifer Brice told Bloomberg that the company has since implemented a sexual-harassment and unconscious-bias training, promoted the company’s 24-hour anonymous hotline, reinforced a zero-tolerance policy on retaliation, and updated policies to ban intimate relationships between officers and employees.

“We strive to create a work environment that is inclusive for all of our employees, and have acted on the concerns we’ve heard,” Brice said. “Each case involving specific claims and concerns was investigated once received.’’

Chevron, which just bought Anadarko or $33 billion, told Bloomberg through a spokesperson that it “has a zero-tolerance policy, and any form of workplace discrimination—gender, racial or otherwise—is unacceptable.”

Oh, and what happened to Holly? In May 2017, he was promoted at the company, but left a few months after that. Later, the company investigated the allegations and two other women came forward with stories of misconduct. Now, Holly’s the CEO of another oil company in Denver.

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