Gates’ Grilling: Invasive Questioning of Female Applicants Raises Eyebrows

We all know Bill Gates, once the wealthiest man on the planet, has a reputation for meticulous vetting of potential hires. This was true back in his Microsoft days and has continued into his current venture, Gates Ventures.

However, recent reporting by Wall Street Journal journalists Khadeeja Safdar and Emily Glazer suggests that the probing questions potential Gates’ recruits have faced could be crossing boundaries into uncomfortable territory.

Safdar and Glazer’s piece, published on June 29th, brings to light allegations of an invasive screening process. Applicants reportedly were interrogated by a security firm about their sexual histories, previous drug use, and other personal aspects of their lives which could potentially expose them to blackmail.

The journalists report that some female applicants were allegedly asked if they had ever engaged in extramarital affairs, their preferences in pornography, or even whether they had explicit photos of themselves on their phones.

Safdar and Glazer clarify that they couldn’t determine if any male candidates were subjected to such queries. However, none of the male respondents they spoke to reported such experiences. Female candidates were sometimes questioned about their past experiences as exotic dancers, while one candidate was even quizzed about her sexual health history.

Gates’ team responded to these allegations through a spokesperson, who stated that Gates Ventures had not received any information suggesting these types of questions were posed during background checks carried out by third-party contractors.

This certainly begs the question: what does one’s sexual history have to do with their capacity to perform a job effectively? We’ll keep an eye on this one as it unfolds.