SAN JOSE, Calif. —
"PlayHaven had an employee who was identified as making inappropriate comments at PyCon, and as a company that is dedicated to gender equality and values honorable behavior, we conducted a thorough investigation. The result of this investigation led to the unfortunate outcome of having to let this employee go," PlayHaven CEO Andy Yang said in a blog posting.
The company did not release the name of the fired employee, but said a second man in the photo "is still with the company and a valued employee."
"We believe in the importance of discussing sensitive topics such as gender and conduct and we hope to move forward with a civil dialogue based on the facts," said Yang.
Gender gaps are the hot topic in Silicon Valley, in large part because of the bestselling book "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook. Sandberg has launched a "Lean In" movement to encourage and support women in the workplace.
Richards, reached Friday by The Associated Press, said she couldn't comment. But she confirmed her blog and tweets, along with the report that she was fired.
"Have you ever had a group of men sitting right behind you making joke that caused you to feel uncomfortable? Well, that just happened this week but instead of shrinking down in my seat, I did something about it," Richards wrote in her blog post about the incident.
She said she was spurred in part by a photo of a young girl on the stage at the time, and the thought that the men seated behind her would make it impossible for the girl to learn programming.
The men were not identified by name.
Richards said she also had confronted a man earlier after he told her what she thought was a sexist joke at the conference.
"There is something about crushing a little kid's dream that gets me really angry," Richards wrote. "Women in technology need consistent messaging from birth through retirement they are welcome, competent and valued in the industry."
SendGrid was founded in 2009 and has developed a cloud-based email system, according to its website.