Susan Fowler, former Uber engineer, decided to take a matter regarding her year long employment at the riding sharing company public.
Nothing is kept quiet for long in the age of social media. Information spreads around the world like wildfire in the matter of seconds. All it takes is a media-worthy topic and a few keystrokes. A company’s shady misdeeds typically qualifies as worthy of such attention, and a business’s reputation can be ruined very quickly as it faces the consequences in the Internet age.
Susan Fowler, former Uber engineer, decided to take a matter regarding her year long employment at the riding sharing company public. Fowler published a blog post on her social media Sunday alleging sexual harassment from a superior, and calling the company “sexist”. Fowler claimed her boss made a gesture toward her, and the company did little about it. Fowler was instead forced to resign and seek out employment elsewhere.
She found out after posting the ordeal she certainly wasn’t alone. Other woman had complained of similar treatment by the tech companies of Silicon Valley. However, little is being done to investigate their claims and their voices really haven’t been heard.
Uber is a privately held ride-sharing company which is valued at nearly $70 million. The American-based worldwide online transportation network is headquartered in San Francisco. It develops, markets and operates the Uber software application, which allows its customers to request transportation via the Uber mobile app or website. Users all over the country can request a safe ride home after a night of partying, or a lift to work.
Fowler’s claims spread quickly on the Internet, and incited a whirlwind of hype regarding the Silicon Valley sexism issue at large. Responders to her social media post spat claims aimed at Uber and other area tech companies regarding how women are being mistreated, are often paid less than their male counterparts and are promoted fewer times. They allege this long-standing issue is being brushed under the rug, and woman are continually being forced out of their positions due to harassment.
The problem Uber faces is so prevalent, actually, that one survey found three in five women in the Silicon Valley area have been sexually harassed by their male colleagues, with most of the advances being made by superiors. The survey, cleverly titled “Elephant in the Valley”, polled 200 women in the tech industry.
According to Fowler’s post, the woman had allegedly documented the incidents, reported her concerns to Human Resources and to other members of management, but received little solace for her efforts. With nothing concrete being done to curtail the issue, she was eventually forced to give up and leave. Uber faces a lot of heat as of late with users of the shared driving company citing they were not happy about CEO Travis Kalanick’s connection with president Trump. Kalanick was on Trump’s business advisory council until just recently. The connection between Uber’s alleged views of women and the president’s was not lost on social media users.
Kalanick issued a statement confirming the company’s intent to launch an investigation. Arianna Huffington, a woman who joined Uber’s board of directors in April 2016, agreed to aid in these efforts. She asked that anyone with information or concerns email her directly.