Ex-Uber engineer alleges sexual harassment, CEO reacts by promising investigation
Calling the post "Reflecting on one very, very odd year at Uber" the engineer wasn't exaggerating as she revealed her experience working for one of the globe's most recognisable brands. She explained on her blog that her manager messaged her on her first day of work that he was in an open relationship and now looking for new sexual partners. She presented photos of chat messages and was told that because it was his first offense, they would only give him a warning and "a stern talking-to". "One HR rep even explicitly told me that it wouldn't be retaliation if I received a negative review later because I had been "given an option".
But upon conversing with other female employees, Fowler said, it came out that the same manager had already been reported for harassment, and other victims were likewise told that it was his "first offense". She said she was sexually harassed by a supervisor nearly immediately after she started at the company, and said her complaints were ignored by human resources.
"When I joined Uber, the organization I was part of was over 25% women". Fowler said the HR representative told her she would either have to leave the team she was now working with or continue to work for the man who harassed her.
After switching teams, Fowler said she met women engineers who had stories similar to her own, and that some had reported the same manager long before she joined Uber.
After the post went viral, Kalanick tweeted on Sunday that this behavior was "abhorrent and against everything we believe in" and pledged that Uber employees who behave this way would be fired.
In a memo to employees, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said the review will be conducted in "short order" and that it will involve Holder, Huffington Post founder and Uber board member Ariana Huffington, and Liane Hornsey, Uber's new human resources chief.
Fowler points out that despite flawless performance scores and managers who wanted her on their team, HR denied her transfer requests and even changed performance reports for trivial reasons.
She alleged that her manager had propositioned her after joining the company in late-2015 but that no action was taken against the man because he was a "high performer".
A major company being forced to release two bold public statements about major scandals in just three weeks is eyebrow-raising-and doesn't exactly bode well for Uber's future. She is also from the same law firm as Holder.
Ultimately, an HR rep suggested that Fowler was "the common theme" in all the reports.
"Over the next few months, I began to meet more women engineers in the company".
Rigetti says that she left the team.
Kalanick also discussed gender diversity at Uber saying 15.1% of employees across its engineering, product management and scientist roles are women - a number which has not significantly changed in the past year.
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