Priya Anand, Buzzfeed:
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick joined a group of more than 100 female engineers on Thursday to discuss the explosive allegations of sexual harassment and sexism recently leveled against the ride-hailing company. During an hourlong meeting, the engineers grilled Kalanick on what they say is a systemic problem at the company and urged him to begin “listening to your own people,” according to an audio recording obtained by BuzzFeed News.
“I think that we should kind of address the elephant in the room … which is that everyone who’s in these rooms now … believes that there is a systemic problem here. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t,” one engineer told Kalanick. “I do not think that we need [Eric Holder’s] help in admitting to ourselves as a company that we have a systemic problem.”
“Fair enough. Fair enough. Fair enough,” Kalanick replied. “I understand.”
I want to give Uber’s management team the benefit of the doubt. I would love to be able to think that they can turn — so to speak — the car around. But this sort of toxic culture is the product of a great deal of time, and is almost certainly a top-down problem. It’s going to take years to undo such a damaged environment, if it’s even possible to do so.