Target: Mr. Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO
Goal: Demand that Uber addresses issues of sexism and sexual harassment in the workplace.
More than 100 female employees have spoken up about issues of sexism and sexual harassment within the ride-hailing company Uber. In a recent lengthy meeting with the company’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, female engineers exposed some of the terrible situations and experiences they have gone through and urged Kalanick and the Uber board to promote changes. Sexism and sexual harassment in the workplace are lasting obstacles to gender equality, and the brave attitude put forth by women working for Uber should be fiercely supported.
Uber has been under scrutiny since the #deleteUber viral campaign. Criticisms of the company’s recent move to undermine a yellow cab drivers’ strike pushed current and former employees to express their views on the company’s culture. A disturbing essay published by a former female Uber engineer sparked a wave of accusations of sexual misconduct, sexism-inspired prejudice, and oppression. The 100+ women at the meeting with Kalanick have been clear that rather than an isolated point of view, the former female employee has tackled a systematic problem within the organization. Consequently, their message was clear: sexism and sexual harassment must be rooted out.
While women have expanded their participation in the labor force and to predominantly male fields, there are still challenges to be overcome for fully equal professional environments. The gender wage gap and lack of education opportunities for women are commonly highlighted issues when it comes to discussing equality/inequality in the workplace. However, women also face a range of sexist practices and discourses deeply and sometimes invisibly embedded in everyday habits and mindsets. Therefore, efforts to guarantee an egalitarian work organization should be methodically and thoughtfully set in place. Demand that Uber sincerely take its female employees’ claims into account and present a plan to end sexism and sexual harassment in the company.
Dear Mr. Kalanick,
A recent meeting between you and Uber’s female engineers has exposed their outrage against some deep-rooted sexist practices within the organization. Uber has a large number of female personnel and, yet, women allege feeling harassed and diminished in the company. This claim illustrates that Uber apparently reproduces the same mechanisms that have prevented the achievement of fully egalitarian workplaces. While talks about the wage gap and lack of education opportunities for women are common topics even in mainstream channels, professional gender inequality goes beyond that. The misrepresentation and objectification of women that underlies sexist practices plays a huge role in holding back female professionals who otherwise have great potential and a bright future.
It is imperative that the Uber board addresses these issues with a serious attitude. It is unacceptable that such a large company is under the spotlight for not guaranteeing the well-being and thriving of women in its employment. I demand you to validate your female employees’ claims and present a plan to end sexism and sexual harassment within Uber.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Adam Fagen