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Uber Faces Gender Discrimination Investigation

Uber Faces Gender Discrimination Investigation

Popular ride-hailing company Uber Technologies, Inc. has spent extensive time in the spotlight lately: from hiring drivers with criminal records to demonstrating wage discrimination, Uber continues to generate bad press. 

What Happened

Due to a recent spike in alleged gender discrimination, Uber is under investigation by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

In June 2017, Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick resigned after former engineer Susan Fowler wrote about the sexism and harassment she experienced while working for the company. This seemingly forced the initiation of an extensive investigation. 

Last week, Liane Hornsey, Uber's head of human resources, also resigned. Her resignation came at the same time as an internal investigation into Hornsey's handling of discrimination cases. 

On Friday, The New York Times reported that COO Barney Harford was notorious for making insensitive comments directed at women and minorities. 

The federal agency's investigation was revealed when The Wall Street Journal reported that EEOC investigators were in the process of interviewing former and current Uber employees and requesting internal documents.

Following Hornsey's resignation, Uber released a statement.

"We are continually improving as a company and have proactively made a lot of changes in the last 18 months. These include implementing a new salary and equity structure based on the market, overhauling our performance review process, publishing diversity and inclusion reports and rolling out diversity and leadership trainings to thousands of employees globally," the statement said. 

Why It's Important

Allegations of gender discrimination and harassment within a corporation are not particularly uncommon. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2017, 42 percent of women in the U.S. have reported facing discrimination in the workplace. 

Infographic from Pew Research Center.

What's Next

The data may force companies to make big changes in workplace etiquette, as well as the treament and equal respect of employees.

On a company basis, consumers could turn to Uber competitors such as Lyft and Curb. 

Related Links:

The Invention Gender Gap

Uber's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad 2017


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