“My Uber cabbie wanted to have sex with me, and when I complained they asked me to ignore it,” Uber Employee’s telltale.
Susan Fowler, a former site reliability engineer for Uber and current engineer at Stripe, accused the company of rampant sexual harassment and human resources negligence in a blog post.
It’s the latest in a series of events that point to serious questions about Uber’s company culture. Fowler claims that on her first day out of training, she was solicited for sex by a superior on an internal company chat thread. She then immediately captured screenshots of the messages and sent them to Uber’s human resources department. In a healthy organisation, such a problem would have been quickly resolved, but Fowler alleges that the harassment only continued, preventing her from moving up within the company.
“Upper management told me that he ‘was a high performer’ and they wouldn’t feel comfortable punishing him for what was probably just an innocent mistake on his part,” explained Fowler in her post
At this point, Fowler says in her post that she was given a choice of remaining on the team and accepting, “a poor performance review,” or moving to a different team.
“It became obvious that both HR and management had been lying about this being ‘his first offense,’ and it certainly wasn’t his last,” Fowler wrote.
Fowler alleged she was also denied a transfer in the organisation because a supervisor was seeking to retain more female engineers, and that the company bought leather jackets for all male employees but asked the female employees to buy their own jackets because of a cost difference. She also complained to human resources but was subsequently illegally threatened with termination by her boss.
“I have just read Susan Fowler’s blog,” Kalanick wrote in a response. “What she describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in.”
“It’s the first time this has come to my attention so I have instructed Liane Hornsey our new chief human resources officer to conduct an urgent investigation into these allegations,” he added. “We seek to make Uber a just workplace for everyone and there can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at — and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired.”
Reacting to the incident in an official statement Uber said;
“I have just read Susan Fowler’s blog. What she describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in. It’s the first time this has come to my attention so I have instructed Liane Hornsey our new Chief Human Resources Officer to conduct an urgent investigation into these allegations. 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.”