A nuanced article by Jeff Bercovici on mental health in tech and business that avoids giving a neat solution.
In particular he speaks of his dealings with Austen Heinz, to whom he was 'professionally unkind', and who eventually committed suicide.
Bercovici says that had he known that Heinz had a Bipolar diagnosis, he would have 'erred on the side of protecting him from his self-damaging pronouncements. That would have been putting him into a different sort of box, of course. But better that than chuck stones on the rubble pile.'
I wish I could say there's a simple lesson here. Sexism in tech is a real problem, and not something anyone made up. Extending the benefit of a doubt to everyone guilty of it would be its own form of unfairness. As I've grown up in journalism, I like to think I've followed a consistent trajectory of becoming less judgmental, more sympathetic. Recognizing that Austen Heinz was himself a victim of something beyond his control would have required a big imaginative leap, even for someone who knew enough to spot the signs. All the same, I'm sorry I didn't. As common as mental illness is, people who suffer from it are often afraid to talk about it for fear of being shunned. The sad part is, their fears aren't entirely misplaced.