Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer, may have started a watershed moment for Uber when she wrote a blog post alleging that she faced sexual harassment at Uber’s corporate office.
Uber was recently forced to ask for the resignation of Senior Vice President of engineering Amit Signal when he did not reveal to them that he left Google over harassment dispute claims, according to Forbes.
Immediately following the blog post, Uber’s CEO began looking into the claim with HR and the first female member of Uber’s Board, according to Forbes.
Rachel Crouse, a senior digital cinema major, said that she thinks it is good that the CEO is looking into this and they have asked Eric Holder, former U.S. attorney General to lead an independent investigation.
Recently, more claims have come to light. A blog written under the alias Amy Vertino was posted on Medium, in which she said that after reading Fowler’s story, she became angry and wanted to tell her story. In the post she alleged that she received 18 percent less pay than her less-qualified male co-workers. She explained that she was only one of two women on a 21-member team.
Vertino said it was not uncommon to have one team member openly praised while another was publicly criticized. “Chauvinistic, racist and homophonic attitudes where far too normal at Uber,” she wrote.
She recounted numerous racist jokes and offensive names. She then discussed one high level employee, who had a six figure a salary, and how he harassed her at work. She said when she reported this to HR, she was told the man was valuable to Travis and this was the first complaint they had received about him.
She claimed she was warned that if she went public she would be fired.
Crouse said that since chief executive officers are at the top, they do not always know what is going on below them.
She said that people should hold him accountable to actually perform the investigation that he promised, but accepts the fact that he may not know what is going on.
After the news broke, an Uber spokeswoman sent an email to Forbes stating, “We take any and all allegations of this nature very seriously and have forwarded this to Attorney General Holder and Tammy Albarran to include in their investigation.”
As a result of these investigations, Uber has faced numerous criticisms. Two early investors wrote their own post on medium that stated they were concerned with the direction of the investigation. They said, “To us, this decision is yet another example of Uber’s unwillingness to be open, transparent and direct.”
In light of recent revelations of the extent of the assault problem, Becky Ramirez, president of MOSAIC at JBU, said that people should take the president’s comments with a grain of salt. “We shouldn’t think ‘Oh, he definitely knew’ or he is completely innocent,” she said.