Uber’s gender discrimination problems are the focus of a federal investigation

Uber is being investigated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the US government. UU For concerns about gender inequality in the company, according to The Wall Street Journal .

It was reported that the commission's investigation was opened last August, just when Dara Khosrowshahi was elected to replace Uber founder, Travis Kalanick, as CEO. Gender discrimination in the company became a widely debated topic after Susan Fowler, a former Uber engineer, published a report on sexism and sexual harassment that she experienced there in February 2017.

The researchers interviewed Current and former employees look through company documents to learn more about how gender is treated in Uber's hiring practices and salary decisions, according to the report. Five criminal investigations into Uber's business practices are also ongoing.

"We are continuously improving as a company and we have made many changes proactively in the last 18 months, including the implementation of a new salary and capital structure based on the market, reviewing our performance review process, publishing Diversity and Inclusion reports, and deploying diversity and leadership training for thousands of employees around the world. " , said a spokesman for Uber in a statement The Verge . (The most recent diversity report, the second from Uber and the first since Khosrowshahi took over, showed marginal improvements when it was launched in April.)

The news of the investigation comes days later New York Times reported that Uber's human resources department, diversity chief and other executives have received "several formal and informal complaints" about the behavior of Barney Harford, the company's director of operations. According to reports, Harford, with whom Khosrowshahi worked on Expedia, made insensitive racial comments at a meeting about an advertisement showing a mixed-race couple, and employees told him NYT that those comments were representative of how the COO spoke to women and minorities in other situations.

Also, last week, Uber's human resources director, Liane Hornsey, resigned after allegations of racial discrimination led to an internal investigation into her behavior. Directed by the Gibson Dunn law firm, that investigation allegedly discovered that some of the claims were well founded.

Khosrowshahi addressed all three issues while being interviewed at Brainstorm Tech Fortune conference on Monday.

"All of those were very, very different circumstances." The EEOC problem, although I can not say much about it, has been going on for a long period of time, and happened to appear in the press at this time, "Khosrowshahi said. about the investigation of gender discrimination. The CEO said he held a hands-free meeting on Monday morning, where he initially considered complaining about the leaks at WSJ . Instead, he said, he realized that "what comes out in the news is a symptom, and it is a symptom for us of a company that has not yet, at all levels, at all levels, really, really trust. in which we are going to do the right thing, not only externally, but also internally. "

Regarding Harford, Khosrowshahi admitted that" there were accusations, the accusations made there, "adding that Uber" take [s] very seriously anything that has to do with anyone, but especially with superior officers. "When asked if Harford's work was" safe ", Khosrowshahi said "it's too early" to say it.

"Sometimes a blow to the face is needed to see things clearly," Khosrowshahi said later. "This was one of the moments for me, this was a difficult week, but it's incredibly motivating, I think we definitely have the tools, and I'm the only person who has to back up what happened, I do not like what happened, I do not blame to the people who were responsible for the leaks, I am the only one responsible. "

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