By appointing a CEO, Uber may have solved one of the many problems it is experiencing. However, there is a new problem that faces the company. A couple of weeks ago, a number of female leaders were approached with the offer to become Uber’s CEO, and all of them denied. The main reason behind that was that none of them wanted to work in an environment where women aren’t acknowledged and respected.
Uber has yet to prove itself to be a welcoming place for women. In February, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler published a lengthy blog post that forced the company to address its toxic work culture and systemic sexism. The $68 billion transportation startup then launched a months-long internal investigation into its workforce culture. They ultimately purged a number of top executives, including CEO Travis Kalanick.
“What’s the point of offering women avenues to learn web/software skills if we’re going to then lead them astray by recommending they work at a company that actively harms them?” asked Corinne Warnshuis, executive director of nonprofit Girl Develop It, in a series of tweets. “That’s the worst outcome.”
In May, the Anita Borg Institute, the organization behind the annual Grace Hopper Conference, the largest gathering of women in computing that takes place every fall, cut ties with Uber.
“We require our partners to take action to improve the retention and advancement of women technologists,” CEO Telle Whitney told CNN Tech at the time.
Last month, Uber offered $125,000 to Black Girls Code, but the organization turned it down, Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant told TechCrunch.
“My decision is layered,” Bryant told TechCrunch. “I’ve been quite open for some time about the fact that we as an org use Uber as a tool. We’re also headquartered in the city [Oakland] where they have planned to move. So I’ve been open to the notion that they can transform themselves. Yet their past history and ‘political’ nature of maneuvering is and was troubling.”