A former engineer at Uber recently posted an essay blog to her website and shared her experience at the giant company. She spoke honestly about things that happened to her while she was there and how she was treated. It really is something to read…and the full post is here
To highlight the beginning…she wrote
On my first official day rotating on the team, my new manager sent me a string of messages over company chat. He was in an open relationship, he said, and his girlfriend was having an easy time finding new partners but he wasn’t. He was trying to stay out of trouble at work, he said, but he couldn’t help getting in trouble, because he was looking for women to have sex with. It was clear that he was trying to get me to have sex with him, and it was so clearly out of line that I immediately took screenshots of these chat messages and reported him to HR.
I expected that I would report him to HR, they would handle the situation appropriately, and then life would go on – unfortunately, things played out quite a bit differently. When I reported the situation, I was told by both HR and upper management that even though this was clearly sexual harassment and he was propositioning me, it was this man’s first offense, and that they wouldn’t feel comfortable giving him anything other than a warning and a stern talking-to. Upper management told me that he “was a high performer” (i.e. had stellar performance reviews from his superiors) and they wouldn’t feel comfortable punishing him for what was probably just an innocent mistake on his part.
The full post is quite long, and it doesn’t get much better. She outlines the details of how she had been moved to different areas. She was given secret poor reviews and was refused transfers within the company. She spoke of how upper management handled day to day business but also how they handled harassment. She even was talked to about how she kept reporting things to HR.
Since the post went viral, you may have seen a hashtag #DeleteUber . Many readers shared the story and their disgust for her treatment.
As many people started deleting the app…Uber started sending out a note to people wishing to delete their account to try and let them know they were investigating the allegations.
Can we say who is right and who is wrong? Probably not since we weren’t there. Based on her well written essay though, it would be hard to believe she was making it up. Also, will deleting the app make a difference to the corporate bottom line…probably not. If anything it will affect the men and women who drive for Uber and rely on the cash to pay bills and put food on their tables.
That said…this is the reality in many corporations. If this does ANYTHING…I hope that it encourages people to feel confident in sharing their stories and maybe it will help make a change in some businesses where these types of things are an issue.