Uber Women To CEO Travis Kalanick: We Have A Systemic Problem

"Everyone at Uber is deeply hurting after reading Susan Fowler's blog post", reads a message seen by Mashable, which is being sent to users in the process of cutting their ties with Uber.

According to more than 30 current and former employees who spoke to Mike Isaac at The New York Times, the problems at Uber go well beyond those described by Fowler, including an incident in which an Uber manager allegedly groped female co-workers during a company retreat in Las Vegas (the manager was sacked within 12 hours, the Times reports).

Fowler was told to change departments-requiring retraining-or stay on her current team and receive a negative review from her manager. On Tuesday, Kalanick apologized for the company culture during a "raw and emotional" all-hands staff meeting. She added that such a systemic problem wouldn't have arisen in the first place if Uber believed and started listening to its own people for once. Fowler says she experienced several more sexist incidents and reported them.

"So I empathize with you but I can never fully understand and I get that".

"What I can promise you is that I will get better every day", he said, according to five attendees who spoke to The Times. Uber is now scanning those responses for mentions of the Susan Fowler controversy and sending its disgruntled former users a special email message pledging to right what it has wronged.

The company has long refused to release demographic data on its workforce, even though most major tech companies have in recent years begun disclosing data and publicly acknowledging their lack of diversity.

Rather than deny these disgusting, but from a journalistic stance, home-run anecdotes, Liane Hornsey, Uber's chief human resources officer, told the paper in a statement that "We are totally committed to healing wounds of the past and building a better workplace culture for everyone". "By stepping down, you can show that you're capable of a truly selfless act that can benefit the company", he writes, noting that if Kalanick takes time out to "reflect", he could even return to the Uber helm someday. "We wouldn't be here if we didn't", one engineer told Kalanick.

In the scathing review, Fowler claimed that HR repeatedly downplayed reports of inappropriate behavior, and defended alleged perpetrators by suggesting that it was their first offenses. She and a half-dozen others said human resources often made excuses for top performers due to their ability to improve the health of the business. She says she later discovered this was untrue: Other women had reported the same manager to HR for similar offenses. Now, more women are coming forward to accuse the company of the same as anti-Uber sentiment builds. Huffington Post's co-founder Arianna Huffington, who is on Uber's board of directors, will join Holder in the probe. Kalanick defended Michael, saying he believed Michael could learn from his mistakes.

  • Carolyn Briggs