Feminist 'SHE-EO' Accused Of Sexually Harassing Her Female Employees
Miki Agrawal, former CEO and current "SHE-EO" of THINX, a company which claims to break down period "stigma" with their "period-proof underwear," has been hailed as feminist royalty.
Ironically, she's also just been accused of inappropriately touching and sexually harassing her female employees, giving raises only to men and creating an overall hostile and uncomfortable work environment.
In a damning article published on Monday by New York Magazine's Noreen Malone, the disturbing allegations against the feminist were detailed in great length, including Agrawal talking at work about "the size and shape of her employees' breasts, an employee's nipple piercings, her own sexual exploits, her desire to experiment with polyamory, her interest in entering a sexual relationship with one of her employees, and the exact means by which she was brought to female ejaculation."
The feminist also allegedly "touched an employee's breasts and asked her to expose them, routinely changed clothes in front of employees, and conducted meetings via video-conference while in bed, apparently unclothed," notes Malone. "At least once, she supposedly FaceTimed into a meeting from the toilet."
Last week, Chelsea Leibow, 26, filed a complaint concerning the misconduct with the City of New York Commission on Human Rights. Leibow was formerly THINX's public relations head before being terminated in December after filing "numerous complaints" about her boss' inappropriate behavior.
In the complaint, Leibow accuses Agrawal of having an "obsession" with Leibow's breasts, which she would frequently "help herself" to.
I felt that Miki objectified my body when she declared that she was 'obsessed' with it and made very detailed comments about my breasts, and it also seemed like a way for Miki to assert her dominance over female employees by simply doing whatever she wanted to do without asking, and showing she could get away with it," the former employee told Malone.
"I didn't say anything to her at the time," she added. "If you've ever been touched without your consent, you know it's jarring."
In the complaint, Leibow said the "generally aggressive and retaliatory demeanor, position of authority, and style of management" barred her from forcefully rebuking her boss at the time. "Other former employees who spoke to Malone for the story describe an environment in which dissent was discouraged and retaliation common," notes CNBC.
The complaint also claims that Agrawal regularly exposed herself at work, often changing clothes in her glass-walled office or in an open work area.
"[I]t was common for Agrawal to conduct such meetings while audibly or visibly using the toilet," notes the complaint.
Agrawal was also accused of seemingly sexist behavior when it came to compensation, only allotting pay raises to two employees within the company who happened to both be male.
Additionally, Malone wrote that "several current and former employees say that Agrawal frequently told her assistant, a lesbian, how 'hot' she found her. One source says she'd introduce her assistant by saying they flirted with one another all the time."
Much of the alleged misconduct was likely enabled by the lack of a Human Resources department. In a post on Medium penned by Agrawal, the former CEO admits that she failed to have such a department.
THINX eventually introduced what they called "Culture Queens" as HR fill-ins.
Agrawal was fired as CEO but is still listed as the company's "SHE-EO" on THINX's official website. Whatever that means.
The embattled feminist responded to the accusations by telling Malone they were "baseless" and "absolutely" without merit.
"Agrawal said her legal team has contacted third-party employment counsel. She noted that she was speaking for herself, not the company, and recorded the call," noted Malone of her interaction with Agrawal.
A spokesperson for THINX said in a statement:
We take matters related to our company culture very seriously. THINX has not been served with a legal complaint or charge from any agency related to Ms. Leibow's allegations. When the issues were brought to our attention following her departure from THINX, the company commissioned an investigation that concluded the allegations had no legal merit. The company cannot comment further on these legal matters.