Former World Economic Forum Staffers Accuse Founder Klaus Schwab of Sexual Harassment

US

Various female employees of the World Economic Forum have gone on record to accuse its founder, Klaus Schwab, of sexual harassment.

According to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal, Schwab is facing accusations of sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.

One of Schwab’s misdeeds allegedly involves targeted employees aged over 50 for dismissal to lower the average age of the workforce. When his HR chief, Paolo Gallo, refused to comply with this directive without valid performance-related reasons, Schwab fired him.

Back 2017, Schwab reportedly dismissed a young woman leading a startup initiative after she informed him she was pregnant. He expressed displeasure that she wouldn’t be able to work at the same pace and subsequently let her go after a brief trial period.

Many other female staffers also reported being pushed out or facing career setbacks after becoming pregnant or returning from maternity leave.

Meanwhile, other female staffers said they were victims sexual harassment, with incidents involving suggestive comments and inappropriate behavior by senior managers, some of whom remain at the Forum.

Schwab, who formally left his role as executive chairman last month, himself was described as setting a tone of sexualization and objectification from the top, with multiple accounts of him making women uncomfortable with his remarks and behavior.

“I knew he liked me and I knew he found me pretty,” said one woman by the name of Mryiam Boussina. “Every man with a lot of power, they think that they can get any woman and they are not ashamed.”

“There was a lot of pressure to be good-looking and wear tight dresses,” added another woman who worked at the WEF in the 2010s. “Never in my career have I experienced looks being such an important topic as in the Forum.”

Another staffer claimed that Schwab made suggestive comments and even physically posed suggestively in front of her, once mentioning he wished she was Hawaiian to see her in a costume.

“I need to find you a man, and if I were not married, I would put myself on the top of that list,” Schwab is reported to have said on multiple occasions.

Schwab has vehemently denied all the allegations, insisting he behaved professionally at all times. “Mr. Schwab does not and has never engaged in the vulgar behaviors you describe,” a Forum spokesman said, adding that the Journal’s reporting would “mischaracterize our organization, culture and colleagues, including our founder.”

Under his leadership, the WEF has aggressively promoted the idea of a ‘Great Reset,’ which aims to replace democratic governments with a system of global governance similar to communist China.

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