This time Uber faced a direct hit from the investors
It is not new for Uber to be blamed for violating the regulations of the state or city, the only aim of the ridesharing giant is to lead the future of the transportation under its brand. But this time the company is accused of the office culture; quite shocking, but true.
A strange year at ridesharing company
An open letter written by one of the employees of the ridesharing company reflects a series of information about the company from the rampant sexism, power games in the corporate forum, a manager with soliciting sexual relationship and the most incompetent and inefficient HR department.
Susan J Flower the employee of the ridesharing company joined the firm as an SRE (site reliability engineer) in November 2015. Within few weeks of her training, Flower starts working in a team of her expertise. The manager she was working under sent sexual harassment messages to her which she took the screenshot of and sent to the human resource department. Being a leading ridesharing company in the upmarket, Susan had high expectation on the company in handling the issue. But on contrary, she received a message from the HR department stating that it was the first mistake committed by the man and also the upper management has high expectation for him because of his stellar professional performance, so they will not be comfortable in punishing him.
In her letter she also mentioned about the unprofessional behavior of the people ranking in top positions. Even her transfer was blocked by the directors and managers stating that she had issues with her performance, but had good performance score. The internal issues in the company were not addressed by the management because they themselves were part of the issue.
When Susan joined the ridesharing service, there were twenty five percent of women employers working in the company and it were gradually dropped to six percent. Women were transferring from the company and those who could not transfer quit their job. The reason behind the drop in the number of women workers was because of the sexism within the company and the chaos within the organization.
The letter written by the former Uber employee, it was widespread in the social networking sites and turned everyone’s attention towards the ridesharing giant. Many of the former and current employees of the ridesharing company claimed that they have faced several issues in the organization threatening the subordinates with the violence, managers sexually harassing the employees and poor professional culture that overlooks the discriminatory behavior.
Regarding the open letter, the car sharing company conducted an internal investigation led by a team of Arianna, the media mogul from Huffingpost; Liane Hornsey, the recently hired officer from the Human resource department and Eric Holder, the former Attorney General of the United States. These three people involved in the investigation created a conflict among the others, because Eric Holder had worked under the ridesharing company earlier for another case and the other two members of the investigation team were direct reporters to the car sharing company’s CEO, Travis Kalanick and the executive team of the company. Since all the members in the investigation team are part of or related to the ridesharing company, the act of analyzing the exact picture of the company’s culture cannot be determined and the investors also felt the same.
Response of the investors
While the act of Uber was disappointing, the investors also had the same claim towards the company. The early investors of the ridesharing giant were upset about the investigation method followed by the company on the workplace abuse and the sexual harassment.
Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor are the venture capitalist and married investors of the ridesharing company and they wrote a public letter regarding the recent letter written by the former employee of the ridesharing company. They stated that the workplace culture of the ridesharing company has toxic patterns and is upset towards the ignorance of the company towards the harassment that takes place in the organization. And the letter also stated that this act by the company shows its unwillingness to become transparent, open and direct.
The act of involving the people closer to the organization in the investigation is not a good impression for a company that has a reputation among the global companies. Though the investors have high hopes opinions about the member involved in the investigation, but that does not eliminate the conflict that takes place in the firm that requires a deep and proper assessment, and that is where the change happens.
The investors on a serious note said that they are willing to help the ridesharing company if they are serious and strong about the fundamental analysis and potential step in every aspect of the policies, upward communication system, complaint system, commitment from the beginning, training, and sentiment analysis.
The Kapor family: The Kapors are the only investors of the ridesharing company to publically comment on the act of the company towards the issue and said that though the company has a major impact on the global market share, they cannot tolerate the exclusionary cliques, lack of diversity, culture plagued by the disrespect and harassment and bullying of every form.
The Kapor family is a big organization that works towards removing the barriers in the fields of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) technology and educational careers for the people of the under-represented colors and they take up a comprehensive approach to fixing the mishaps at each stage of the technical pipeline; From education in the workplace through the social impact investing, educational programs and advocacy. Their social impact is centered at Oakland, which is the epicenter of the social impacts for the startups that are developing in the technology based environment in the real world where people from all grounds of residents are benefitted from the inclusive and accessible technical economy.
Apart from the Kapors, no other investors or other members of the board did not immediately respond to comment towards the issue. The other investor, the Menlo venture led by the Series B financing in 2011 did not comment regarding the case. Though it did not directly respond to the Kapor’s letter, the ridesharing company hired Tammy Albarran- another attorney general.
Both the attorney general stated that they will conduct the case with the highest degree of professionalism and integrity. Because the members of the investigation committee have been working in close contact with the ridesharing company in the past, they suspect that the investigation will not provide positive results towards the case. The reason for the investors to publically show the letter is because the Kapors believe that their letter will be judged rightly by the board members and the investors according to the action or inaction that happens in the end, and that they feel that the ridesharing company will seriously consider the action hold to a liable relationship.
The two letters written by the former employer and the investor family of the ridesharing company has created a greater impact on the company and all heads are now focusing on the ridesharing company so it is important for them to provide a positive response in this case.
Anand Rajendran is CEO and Co-Founder of Dectar apps, best PHP scripts development company located in India. Dectar is a part of Casperon Technologies a leading social and mobile development company which is Developing Taxi Dispatch Software. I’m a Tech geek, Digital marketing expert, Entrepreneur, and Atheist who loves to write everything about PHP Scripts and mobile application development. Cabily Script is a clone of Uber, which developed by the tech gigs of his company.