Uber, Travis Kalanick

Uber’s troubles are far from over. The company still hasn’t managed to deal with the controversies surrounding its workplace practices and is facing criticism for the way it is dealing with the Susan Fowler case. And now, yet another former employee has spoken her mind out over Medium, talking about the sexual harassment she faced at the hands of a female manager.

In a Medium post, former Uber software engineer Keala Lusk talks about her experience at Uber, pointing out what she calls “malicious fights for power, interns repeatedly putting in over 100 hours a week but only getting paid for 40, discrimination against women, and prejudice against the transgender community.”

Referring to the story previously shared, Lusk says that what Fowler experienced is not uncommon at Uber. Talking about her own tenure at the company, Lusk said that she had to face constant disrespect from a female manager she reported to every single day. What’s more, despite meeting with the manager and the HR multiple times, nothing changed. As Lusk puts it:

It was simply brushed aside and swept under the carpet of collective Uber suffering.

Miss. Lusk also attached an e-mail she had sent to the HR in which she detailed all the issues the new, female manager was causing in detail. You can read the full mail here, meanwhile here are the main points:

  • She discounts feedback the team gives her and calls people out during anonymous feedback sessions.
  • She told me not to wear a tank top and that wearing a tank top is the reason I am not progressing in my career.
  • She laughed at me because of technical challenges I am facing.
  • I am banned from working from any other Uber office; I am banned from working from another floor; I am banned from working from home; I am banned from working from anywhere except my desk.

After her problems elicited absolutely no concern from the HR despite repeated complaints, Lusk decided that she had enough and finally quit. She wan’t the only one either.

Apparently, 4 out of her 11-member team left Uber as well, a couple before and a couple after she herself left. Other members also started interviewing for other positions elsewhere. Now that doesn’t sound like a co-incidence to me however, what is strange is that Uber still chose to ignore complaints despite this massive reduction in team strength.

Lusk ends her post by calling out to the management to stop ignoring issues:

Management needs to stop shying away from the issues and pretending problems don’t exist. I know there are great people at the company that will push it forward in the right direction. They will stumble, and fall sometimes, but it’s all part of growing. I just wish it would happen sooner, and that people like me, Susan, and countless others, didn’t have to suffer for change to happen.

The matter has been brought to Uber’s attention and the company has directed the team investigating the Susan Fowler case to it. However, this latest confession points towards the possibility that Miss Fowler’s case wasn’t a lone issue and problems of harassment could be pervading several of its facilities. The really astonishing thing is the HR’s response, which seemed to have been next to none on the usefulness scale in both the cases.

Uber really might want to step up the investigations and ensure that its HR starts taking its job seriously. From this narrative, it is clear that a significant portion of the team left the company after not receiving any response to their complaints. A company is only as good as its employees and if they start jumping ship, it wont be long before the boat starts leaking.

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