Uber have made recent headlines for a variety of reasons, including misleading potential candidates over earning potential and gig-economy employment practises, as well as links to Trump.
Now the app-based taxi and delivery firm are in hot water again, after an ex-employee posted a blog about the unpunished sexual harassment she experienced at the firm – Marketwatch reports.
Susan Fowler, formerly employed as a Site Reliability Engineer at the firm, claimed her male supervisor made sexual advances towards her, on an in-office chat service, on her first day.
The engineer writes that she reported the supervisor to HR but was told, because he was a high performer with no previous complaints against him, he would not be punished.
Fowler reports that HR gave her two options: either the leave the team for which her expertise were suited or continue to sit in a team in which negative performance reviews were likely.
Eventually leaving the team, Fowler discovered other female employees had reported the supervisor’s inappropriate actions leading her to believe that HR and management had been lying about this being his first offense.
Other criticisms Fowler laid at Uber included opaque performance reviews, careerist-managers looking to take their bosses jobs by withholding business-critical information from executives, widespread sexism and criticism of employees who contacted HR via email.
Fowler said: “When I joined Uber, the organization I was part of was over 25% women. By the time I was trying to transfer to another [engineering] organization, this number had dropped down to less than six per cent.”
Uber Technologies Inc. CEO, Travis Kalanick, has called for an investigation into the claims.
He said: “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 behaviour at Uber — and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired.”
A Vassallo and Madansky survery of 200 women who had at least 10 years of work experience at Silicon Valley tech companies found 60% reporting they had been the target of sexual harassment.