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Allegations of sexual harassment & gender discrimination against Uber lead to company-wide investigation

Successive sexual harassment and gender discrimination claims against Uber led to a full-scale probe into the company's treatment of its female employees and customers. Investigations revealed company-wide issues with gender discrimination and harassment and offered recommendations, prompting Uber and its investors to take action. [refers to Uber]

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22 June 2017

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigns after after internal inquiry finds widespread sexual harassment, gender discrimination

Author: Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian (UK)

"Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigns following months of chaos", 21 June 2017

Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick has resigned from his position as chief executive of the $68bn ride-hailing app following a tumultuous six months of scandal. Kalanick stepped down in the face of pressure from five of Uber’s largest investors... amid efforts to bring about wholesale change of Uber’s corporate culture... 57 complaints remain under investigation by Holder’s law firm, Perkins Coie... Uber commissioned the inquiry and report following the publication of a blogpost by the former engineer Susan Fowler, who described her experience of sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the company... In February, Fowler’s blogpost paved the way for dozens of reports on a seemingly toxic workplace, and a non-stop drip of revelations including a trip by executives to a South Korean escort bar, an internal “sex memo”, and the alleged mishandling of a rape victim’s medical records by executives who sought to discredit her story.

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16 June 2017

Woman raped by Uber driver in India sues company in U.S. court for defamation & breach of privacy

Author: Mike Isaac, New York Times (USA)

"Uber Is Sued by Woman Who Was Raped by One of Its Drivers in India", 15 Jun 2017

A woman who was raped by her Uber driver in India filed a lawsuit against the ride-hailing company and three current and former executives [for intrusion into private affairs, public disclosure of private facts and defamation], after revelations that they had obtained and mishandled her medical records…

“Rape denial is just another form of the toxic gender discrimination that is endemic at Uber and ingrained in its culture,” said…the lawyer representing Ms. Doe…

An Uber spokesman said on Thursday: “No one should have to go through a horrific experience like this, and we’re truly sorry that she’s had to relive it over the last few weeks.”…

Privately, investigators and Uber employees obtained and discussed the woman’s medical records as the case progressed…

…Uber executives discussed the possibility that the rape could be tied to one of its competitors in India…as part of a plan to sabotage Uber’s momentum in the region…

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7 June 2017

USA: Uber fires 20 employees including some senior executives, following company-wide sexual harassment probe

Author: Olivia Solon, Guardian (UK)

Uber firings: over 20 staff dismissed amid sexual harassment investigation

Uber has fired more than 20 employees after a company investigation into sexual harassment claims and workplace culture... some senior executives were among them. The terminations follow an investigation carried out by the law firm Perkins Coie in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment made by Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer who published a viral account of sexual harassment and discrimination at the company... Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO, said at the time: “What she describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in.”... 

“I have never in my career heard of groups of people being terminated for sexual harassment like this,” said Leslie Miley, a veteran software engineer...who interviewed at Uber in 2015 and was put off by the culture. “It points to a much bigger problem...” Uber has been taking steps to change company culture following a series of scandals that appeared to demonstrate aggressive business practices and a toxic work environment.

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