Site reliability engineer Susan Fowler, who is a former Uber employee, accused the company of sexual harassment and of human resources negligence. She wrote everything in a blog post which she published on Monday. This is only the latest such issue which Uber is confronting and which has to do with the company’s way of dealing with its employees.
How it all happened
According to Fowler, on her first day of training, a superior asked her for sexual favors on an internal chat. She immediately took screenshots of the conversation and sent them to the human resources department. This issue was that nothing happened and the issue was not dealt with. Moreover, the harassment continued and she was given a choice. She could either move to a different team or stay on that team and accept the fact that the person would most likely give her a low performance review. Fowler could not accept that and she moved to a different team. Unsurprisingly, lots of other female employees told her similar stories.
The human resources department did nothing against that person. Moreover, Fowler had to suffer some from some poor performance reviews which went on and on. When she requested her transfer to another department, the company denied her request. Twice. Apart from these issues, she also said that the people are Uber showed extreme signs of sexism. One employee even refused to order jackets in women’s sizes because they cost more.
An investigation is about to start
Following Fowler’s story and complaints, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick promised to start an investigation. He also made public a statement in which he responds to Fowler’s claims. The CEO states that if what she said is indeed true, all those issues are against everything Uber, as a company, believes in. He reportedly asked the new Chief Human Resources Officer to conduct an investigation regarding these issues. Moreover, Uber board member Ariana Huffington posted a Twitter message in which she stated that she would conduct an independent investigation.
Just talked w/ Travis & as a representative of Uber’s Board I will work w/Liane to conduct a full independent investigation starting now 1/2
— Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) February 20, 2017
Not the first problem
Uber is no stranger when it comes to problems within the company. They were in trouble back in 2014. Moreover, there are often complaints about their passenger safety. Some markets even banned them for such allegations. Privacy violation accusations have been the most common for Uber. There is that now famous case of the French business man whose wife filed for divorce after he used the Uber app on her phone. The app continued to show the places where he was going with his presumed mistress, even after he logged out from her phone. Some people used Uber to stalk celebrities or former partners.
Another issue is that Uber has not made public how many female employees it actually has. This situation will probably change soon, as civil rights leader Jesse Jackson promised to reach out to the company and make them publish this list. All in all, it is certainly not right for such harassments to happen in such a big company like Uber. Let’s hope that this investigation will put an end to these issues and nothing like this will ever happen again.
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