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18-year-old woman asks male entrepreneur for advice on startup, gets inappropriate response in return

What was supposed to be a professional conversation however took an unexpected turn when the man started to ask Lydia about her age and her relationship status.

world Updated: Aug 18, 2017 19:26 IST
entrepreneur,london,tech industry
(Twitter/ Lydia Jones)

A young woman contacts a male entrepreneur for professional advice. What she gets is “disgraceful” talk about her relationship status and sexuality.

Lydia Jones, 18, North West England, sent a message to a male entrepreneur and industry influencer, on a Facebook group called London Startups and Entrepreneur group.

Jones owns a start-up and she sought the man’s help as she thought he might know industry advisers and mentors whom she could contact. What was supposed to be a professional conversation however took an unexpected turn when the man started to ask Lydia about her age and her relationship status.

“I simply asked him if he could introduce me to any mentors or advisors in London for growth and funding,” Jones said to Mashable.

After Jones replied to the man’s “horrendous” questions without indulging herself in any conversation, the man continued asking questions.

When Jones told him that she’s lesbian, the man asked if a man turns her on at all.

Realising that the conversation she started has been completely derailed, Jones asked, “I thought you was a businessman [sic]?

The man replied to this saying, “haha I am” with heart-eyed emoji, adding, “I’m also a human being right [sic]?”

Jones took the screenshots of the conversation and posted them on Twitter with hashtags like ‘womenintech’

”This tech scene needs to wake up,” she wrote in a tweet which has been retweeted by over 6,000 people and liked by more than 8000.

The male entrepreneur responded by saying that his words had been misunderstood as the conversation took place over the message not in person.

“The digital and text word can be misunderstood” but if “this was said in person it wouldn’t have been a big deal,” he told to Mashable in an interview.

“Richard Branson said all publicity is good publicity so I’m glad she’s spreading my brand around. I haven’t committed a crime here,” he continued.

Twitter users, on the other hand, has come to Jones’ support, calling the man’s behaviour “disgraceful”.

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 19:25 IST