A female entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist Asha Jadeja Motwani has alleged in a Facebook post that she complained of sexual harassment at TiE Silicon Valley to the board of the organisation but they responded with “radio silence” on it. “Recently I reported a case of sexual bullying and harassment by a senior officer at TiESV – to TiE Silicon Valley, board members. Response?? radio silence. Warning: I will, of course, be taking legal action if the silence continues. I’ve been nice enough to wait for Tiecon 2019 to get over before pressing the board to take action,” she wrote in a post on June 10.

TiE Silicon Valley is a huge non-profit organisation that focuses on fostering entrepreneurship mainly the Indian American community globally and this complaint filed by Motwani has left everyone in the organisation shocked. Its co-founder Kanwal Rekhi responded to Motwani on the same FB Post and said, “TiE does not condone or tolerate bullying, sexual or otherwise, and has not been silent about Asha’s complaint. TiE Board has appointed a group of three people, headed by me to investigate Asha’s complaint. The other two members of the group are past TiE SV President Raj Jaswa and women Charter Member and a very successful entrepreneur Talat Hasan.”

He added, “I have also known TiE forever and have never witnessed anything like what Asha has alleged so I personally want to make sure that we get to the bottom of it and make things right.”

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Rekhi reportedly questioned why would someone try to harass such a respectable woman? “Why would someone sexually harass her … again, such a powerful woman?”  Rekhi asked. “I don’t know the details and have asked Asha to meet us soon,” he added.

Reports say that Motwani filed the complaint before TiECon (held on May 10-11) while Rekhi told Indica News that came to know about the allegations formally from the organisation’s board just before TiEcon, which is when he set up an ICC to probe into the case. However, he did acknowledge that Motwani had sent an email earlier than the formal complaint.

Motwani is a Ph.D. in political science from UC-Berkeley after doing her master’s and undergraduate studies in urban planning and civil engineering from the University of Southern California. She is a philanthropist who invests for-profit tech, internet and high social impact start-ups in the Bay Area, New York, India, Pakistan among other countries. She also serves as a trustee of the Motwani Jadeja Family Foundation, a charitable organisation based in Palo Alto, California, and Ahmedabad, India.

Rekhi reportedly questioned why would someone try to harass such a respectable woman? “Why would someone sexually harass her … again, such a powerful woman?”  Rekhi asked. “I don’t know the details and have asked Asha to meet us soon,” he added.

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