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“I was wrong to do so”, Facebook’s Policy Chief before his resignation in response to sexism

Author at TechGenyz Facebook
Facebook Policy Chief

Facebook, in a recent development again came under the public eye’s scrutiny, when a female investor recently accused Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president of communications and public policy of sexism at the company’s shareholder meeting last month.

In responding to the allegations, Elliot Schrage quickly sent an apology email to the female investor who accused him of sexism just days before announcing his departure.

After being associated with Facebook for nearly a decade, Schrage has stated that he is stepping down from Facebook on Thursday. His decision came in the wake of the allegations, just four days after investor Natasha Lamb accused him of dismissing her in a sexist way at the company’s meeting.

There are no suggestions that Schrage’s departure is in response to the accusations and was even recently praised by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for his contribution to the company.

You’ve been committed to our mission throughout and have always seen the potential that comes when people can connect to others and build community. Thank you. – Zuckerberg stated in a comment under Schrage’s Facebook post

During last month’s shareholder meeting, Activist investor used it as a platform to raise issues that are rapidly growing within Facebook- gender pay gap, fake news, hate speech and other scandals.

Hoping to discuss the issues in more details, Lamb approached Schrage at the end of the meeting but had to return empty-handed as he refused to engage, saying she was “not nice.”

In a recent interview with the Business Insider, the Arjuna Capital managing partner stated that his response was “stunning”. She further said: “Calling a woman ‘not nice’ who’s being assertive and asking questions is just a classic example, almost a meme of sexism.”

In response to the accusations by Lamb, Facebook stated that it has reportedly listened to her concerns and has always paid both men and women equally for the past three years, across its operations globally.

Lamb also went public with Schrage’s apology email and shared it with Business Insider. She stated that the apology mail was in response to her statement that she was going public with her story in a piece for the Financial Times, which was published on Monday.

Though the entire content of the mail was not published at Lamb’s discretion, the mail was titled “Our interaction — and Facebook’s commitment,” and contained a fulsome apology for his “poor choice of words.”

“I want to apologize directly for my comments when we met at the FB shareholder meeting,” Schrage wrote. “I shouldn’t have expressed myself – and should never express myself – in ways that can correctly be interpreted as insulting or offensive. I was wrong to do so. I respect shareholders who shed light on important issues and push companies like ours to act thoughtfully and responsibly.”

In response to his apology, Lamb said she now considers the matter closed and reportedly stated that Schrage’s apology has been “adequate”.