Uber hires Obama's attorney-general to review its workplaces

CEO Travis Kalanick uses alternative diversity facts to prove Uber's goodness

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has appointed Eric Holder, once United States attorney-general under Barack Obama and now a partner of law firm Covington & Burling, to conduct a review of the “specific issues relating to the work place environment raised by Susan Fowler, as well as diversity and inclusion at Uber more broadly.”

Fowler, a former Uber engineer, penned a post alleging rampant sexism, buck-passing and policy-ignoring among managers and a generally toxic atmosphere that saw women flee the company.

Kalanick's widely-circulated memo on the subject says Holder will work alongside fellow partner Tammy Albarran, Uber board member Arianna Huffington, chief of human resources Liane Hornsey and associate general counsel Angela Padilla. The CEO says “I expect them to conduct this review in short order.”

The CEO also argues that Uber is plenty diverse, saying that “If you look across our engineering, product management, and scientist roles, 15.1% of employees are women and this has not changed substantively in the last year.” He goes on to say the comparable number at Facebook is 17 per cent, 18 per cent at Google and 10 per cent at Twitter.

Twitter and Google, however, beg to differ. The avian network says its number is 15 per cent and Google says it is at 19 per cent.

Perhaps Kalanick is offering alternative facts? If so they're unsourced. Maybe they came from Sweden?

The memo wraps up as follows:

“What is driving me through all this is a determination that we take what's happened as an opportunity to heal wounds of the past and set a new standard for justice in the workplace. It is my number one priority that we come through this a better organization, where we live our values and fight for and support those who experience injustice.”

Would replacing the drivers Uber now says are enjoying their best-ever jobs with robo-cars be an injustice? Over to you, readers. ®


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