It's 2017, but sexism still remains rampant at the workplace, and yes, even at big companies like Uber.
A former employee has come forward with chilling accusations against Uber in a blog about her experiences while working at the ride-sharing company.
Susan J. Fowler, who now works as an engineer at Stripe, describes her experience at Uber as “strange, fascinating and horrifying.”
Fowler left the in December 2016 after working there for a year. According to her letter, after the first couple of weeks of working at the company, she began receiving messages from her manager claiming he was in an open relationship and was looking for women to have sex with. Fowler, who was rather taken aback, screenshot the messages and reported her manager to human resources.
The female employee was expecting Uber to take strict action against the man, but instead the top management claimed he was a “high performer” and that they “wouldn’t feel comfortable giving him anything other than a warning and a stern talking-to.”
Things only got worse from here, when Fowler observed severe organizational disorder, and incompetence on the part of various departments.
Upon switching departments, and moving around the organization, she realized there were many other women like her who had become victims of sexism while working at Uber. She further states that there was a “game of thrones political war” raging among different levels of the organization.
The real blow came when Fowler, like many of her peers, tried to transfer to another organization, but her transfer was repeatedly blocked. For some reason or other she wasn’t allowed to leave Uber, although she had completed all pending projects and received great performance reviews. After reporting numerous incidents of sexism to the upper management, and receiving threats that they would fire her, Fowler left the organization.
“Such a strange experience. Such a strange year,” she wrote at the end of her blog post.
"What [Fowler] describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in," Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said. "We seek to make Uber a just workplace and there can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at Uber — and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired."
He has ordered an urgent investigation into the case. However, interestingly, out of all the tech giants in the industry, Uber is one of the very few that doesn’t make its diversity numbers public. Kalanick is set to meet with the Rev. Jesse Jackson soon to discuss diversity initiatives.
People on Twitter are using the hashtag #deleteuber to express their views on Fowler’s experiences.
#deleteuber People at these big companies know they will get away without and that's why they continue with their behavior.— / r P / n (@ajshah0007) February 20, 2017
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters