Marred by scandals, Uber has had a long journey to becoming a mega international presence. The rideshare king is in the spotlight once more as Uber news made the rounds about their recently released diversity report for 2019.
It wasn’t that long ago when Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer, exposed the pervasive gender bias happening in the company under the leadership of then-CEO Travis Kalanick. In a blog entitled “One Very Strange Year at Uber,” she claimed female harassment is the norm. According to her, she was even propositioned for sex by a senior manager. Furthermore, she alleged that her complaints to Human Resources landed on deaf ears. Her accused was high up and was playing a pivotal role in Uber’s success.
To address the issue, Uber hired a former US attorney to investigate her claims and look into the complaints of other female employees. As a result, Uber let go of 20 key employees. In March of 2014, Uber created its first diversity report to address the issues at hand.
Out With Travis- in With Dara
In an effort to turn a new leaf and have some positive Uber news, the company brought in Dara Khosrowshahi. Fresh from his success at running Expedia, Khosrowshahi’s task is to set a “New Moral Compass” for Uber. Kalanick was ousted as CEO but stayed as a board member.
What is in the Current Diversity Report
Diversity is a crucial metric for many of Uber’s senior executives. They hope to have women comprise at least 35% of their executive group by 2022. They’re also pushing for an increase in female new hires. Moreover, they seem to be genuine in their desire to get rid of the once chauvinistic culture of the Kalanick years.
“From our corporate offices to our driver-partners across the globe, diversity is one of our greatest assets,” —Uber
Uber claims to have significant growth within its workforce in both the total population and overall percentages of women, Asian, Black/African American, and Hispanic employees. These figures do not just reflect the ones in the U.S. But also in the 60 countries that the company operates. This makes the number even more impressive as cultural differences in various countries make their goal even more challenging to achieve.
The report also shows further commitment to giving back. Uber created a disaster relief fund in 2018, which funded free rides, food, and other basic needs to those impacted by natural disasters. This shall be incrementally expanded upon in future years. Similarly, the company launched Uber Pro where qualified rideshare drivers can have the opportunity to get a full-ride in college at ASU Online University.
Over the years, Uber has undoubtedly taken significant steps to rectify its earlier mistakes. In my opinion, Khosrowshahi’s message that Uber is a caring company is certainly seen in all of its initiatives. New technology, such as drone delivery, and changing viewpoints will inevitably lead to changes in the industry’s culture. It will be interesting to see how the company will stay the course on its pro-diversity agenda.
As always, only time will tell what the next Uber news will be.