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Silicon Valley's cultural problem is so severe it needs a reset, said investor McNamee

  • "There is this, you know, unwritten rule that people don't talk about stuff like this, and women have been victimized by this," said Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners.
  • McNamee says the industry was aware of sexism at Uber from the beginning.

There is no easy fix for Silicon Valley's culture of sexism, Roger McNamee, managing director at Elevation Partners, said Monday on CNBC. The comments come after yet another venture capitalist has been accused of sexual harassment.

"Silicon Valley has a cultural problem right now that is so severe that it almost needs a reset," McNamee said on "Squawk Alley."

"I think it's worse today than it was 10 years ago. There are a lot more women in the workforce. And the men are behaving horribly. I just think there has not been good governance inside the companies," he said.

The tech industry is under increasing pressure to change after allegations of sexist behavior have come to light — starting earlier this year with former Uber engineer Susan Fowler's allegations that the company failed to act on sexual harassment and gender discrimination complaints. "It's not like we didn't know this stuff was going on at Uber from the beginning," said McNamee.

The pressure has gotten more intense recently. Half a dozen women have accused Justin Caldbeck, who resigned last week from Binary Capital where he was co-founder and managing partner, of making unwanted sexual advances when they went to seek out funding or advice from him, according to a report from The Information.

In a statement Caldbeck said, "It is outrageous and unethical for any person to leverage a position of power in exchange for sexual gain, it is clear to me now that that is exactly what I've done."

Another venture capitalist — Dave McClure of 500 Startups — has admitted he "made advances towards multiple women in work-related situations." McClure also said in an apology posted on Medium that he deserved to be called "a creep" toward women.

"There is this, you know, unwritten rule that people don't talk about stuff like this and women have been victimized by this," McNamee said.

The issue has impacted every group that is not in a position of power in Silicon Valley, he said. "I think people of color have [also] been disadvantaged by analogous kinds of problems," said McNamee.

And the only way to fix the problem is to start at the top, he said. "I think it starts with the people who have the money," McNamee said. "They just have to say, look ... I'm going to withdraw all of my money and force the funds to shut down."