Buckle up, Uber drives itself into a misogynist light.
Uber is one of the most innovative companies of the 21st century. It and Lyft are swiftly taking down the taxi industry that has long needed innovation. Many people would say that Uber and Lyft are highly innovative and new companies that help people. One might then assume that they would then be more progressive towards cultural norms and manage their public policy well enough to avoid things such as race and sex discrimination. Issues that seem rather simple to fix and have been improving. Any issue with these hot topics would become an issue of public relations and may reposition their service in an undesirable way.
Unfortunately, it appears that Uber may have fallen into a public relations nightmare. New information is highlighting a former engineer of the company that thinks that Uber failed to discipline a manager who was potentially sexually harassing female employees. The response given by human resources, after this former engineer reported the harassment with tangible evidence, was minimal. HR said that there won’t be any real disciplinary actions beyond a warning because it was the perpetrators first offense. The former engineer also talked about sex discrimination that was exacerbated by the lack of females that were in the office and gifts that males received. The particular example she used was leather jackets that were being rewarded but could not be given to females because they would not receive the same discount for six jackets compared to the 114 they would be buying for the males. It is known that females are underrepresented in the science and technology industries but six out of 114 seems a little bit outrageous.
Now the former employee has gone to the Web 2.0, a blog, to talk about her issues with Uber because they were not being solved internally. Uber board member Arianna Huffington responded on twitter saying that Uber will be conducting an investigation on this report. Obviously, Uber does not want their service to be associated with sexism. Public relations is very important when it comes to any service industry and Uber will need to handle this problem quickly and get out of the news.