Uber’s sexist corporate culture continues to haunt the company

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For most of us, Uber is synonymous with ride sharing. We don’t say “just get a taxify” when someone wonders about transportation, we always refer to Uber. While the technology has been revolutionary and allowed people to go our partying without drunk driving, as well as travel through cities they otherwise could never communicate around, the company itself has some serious issues. I mentioned before that there were some serious issues with sexism at Uber, and the company has promised to change. But even in announcing the change, they revealed how deep the sexism runs.

Recently, the company announced that Travis Kalanick, co-founder and super sexist CEO, would be taking a leave of absence. However, that very same day, the company met to discuss the 47 ways they were going to try and improve its corporate culture. At that meeting, board member Arianna Huffington was explaining that research showed that boards with one female director were more likely to appoint a second, at which point fellow board member David Bonderman interjected, “Actually what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking.”

Haha, nothing like making use of a sexist (and incorrect) stereotype at a meeting about correcting sexism in the corporate culture. Seriously, how messed up are things at Uber?

Bonderman has now resigned from the board, saying in a statement that his remarks were “careless, inappropriate, and inexcusable” and “the opposite of what I intended”. He went on to say:

I take full responsibility for that. I need to hold myself to the same standards that we’re asking Uber to adopt.

Tech companies in general need to improve in their corporate culture. It’s all well and good to promote women studying science and technology, but if they are treated poorly in the workplace, of course they will leave. Uber is a current example of trends we’re seeing across tech companies, and it’s pretty revolting. It’s 2017 now, how long are we going to continue to allow sexist stereotypes and terrible corporate cultures to get in the way? Here’s hoping that this works as an example to all companies to eradicate sexism (and racism and all other bad -isms).

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Last Updated: June 15, 2017

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let's get on with it!

  • Was wondering how there could be two directors, then checked out the source: ‘“There’s a lot of data that shows when there’s one woman on the board, it’s much more likely that there will be a second woman on the board,” Huffington said.’

    EDIT: Literally the next line refers to a board of directors, so my bad. xD

  • Jim of the Banana

    But don’t you have that sort of banter between men as well? I mean any guy who’s ever worked in engineering, IT or related fields, will tell you that the banter between colleagues can get pretty rough. Sometimes, someone oversteps the mark and it ends in fist fights or worse…. lots and lots of pouting ( I keed, I keed).

    However, it’s eventually solved in a pub, with beer…. (and all is forgiven..)

    So this isn’t something entirely new. If women find themselves facing typical male banter, the correct approach would be to out-banter them. Arianna Huffington’s response should have been “that’s an interesting observation, David because you’ve demonstrated repeatedly that you’re just a hairy-assed windbag…” or “I didn’t realise you’re a man, David… especially not with those full hips ”

    The whole board would have laughed, and they would have moved on with business (AND Arianna would have scored some valuable Bro points).

    The fact that she’s complaining that this is yet another example of sexism in the workplace, just leaves the Huffing Paint Post’s founder open to ruthless mockery (and worst of all, David looks like the hero for scoring one over the founder of one of the stupidest news outlets since Fox News).

    • HvR

      I couldn’t agree more regarding Huffington and HuffPost

      But think it is a case of doing a stupid at a very wrong time. coming on the back of Susan Fowler’s blog and I agree fully that she was sexually harassed being propositioned from the get go and it having a influence on her career in the company and Uber’s employment numbers and short turn around time on engineers support her.

      Along with stories and leaks about other employees it seems that they have more than just a sexism problem; it seems it is one of those companies that run themselves like a bullpit from investment and legal companies in the 80’s where all professionalism and basic human courtesy is ignored as long as upper management is happy with crapload of infighting among the middle management.

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