Former NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver warned that SpaceX could struggle to recruit and retain its employees if it doesn’t fix its bro culture.
These rockets do not manufacture themselves, Garver told CNN Business. At best and most brilliant, they will not tolerate conduct that is truly a hindrance.
Bro culture could have been successful in the past because the predominant number of engineers were white people, she said, which is no longer the case. And we all take full advantage of commerce. A SpaceX spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment from an insider.
Garver told CNN Business that she was disappointed to hear reports claiming to have representative concerns about SpaceX’s work culture. Last month SpaceX representatives wrote a letter to association leader Gwynne Shotwell, calling the way Elon Musk acted, which they called a constant source of horror and outrage.
The next day, The New York Times revealed that the space enterprise had fired some representatives who had coordinated the letter. As well as referencing Musk’s tweets, the letter referred to a new sexual misdemeanor allegation against the SpaceX CEO, which was previously detailed by Insider.
It was alleged that the company paid a former flight attendant $250,000 after Musk was accused of sexual harassment. Musk told Insider at the time that there was more to the story, but later scoffed at the allegations on Twitter.
Elon Musk told Insider at the time, If I was inclined to engage in sexual harassment, it’s not likely to be the first time it came to the fore in my entire 30-year career. Last year, a former SpaceX engineer said there was a misunderstanding at the company and claimed he had been sexually assaulted.
In her memoir, published last month, Escaping Gravity: My Quest to Transform NASA and Launch a New Space Age, Garver said she continued to bat for Musk and SpaceX despite criticism from NASA.
SpaceX has a huge lead and is running faster than any competition, including all the major aerospace companies, Garver wrote in his book.
Garver’s memoir follows the commercialization of the American space industry during Garver’s time as NASA’s deputy administrator during the Obama administration, highlighting the agency’s early negotiations with SpaceX and Garver’s efforts to make space more affordable.
In the memoir, the former NASA official details several instances where sexism in the aerospace industry has negatively affected his career.
Many people who disagreed with my views attacked me with obscene, sexual language, looting and physical threats, Garver wrote. I’ve been called an ugly whore, a bastard bitch and a cunt, told me I needed to lie down, and asked if I was on my period or going through menopause.
Despite criticism of sexism in the industry, Garver’s book is often read as a song for SpaceX and Musk. It’s hard to separate my story from Elon’s because I wouldn’t have mattered much to NASA without him and SpaceX.
He wrote, we have shed blood for the same cause and gathered the same enemy. Each of us needs the other to be successful.