Uber can’t catch a break. But then again, it’s its own fault.
Amid fallout from the ride-sharing service’s CEO jumping on the Trump train, allegations of an entrenched culture of sexual harassment and new reports that CEO Travis Kalanick decided taking managers to an escort bar would be a good team-building exercise, come the company’s diversity numbers.
As you might guess based on the company’s recent track record, the figures aren’t great.
64 percent of the company’s overall workforce is male. The technology department is 85 percent male. As far as race is concerned, it’s like this: 50 percent of Uber’s workforce is white, 31 percent is Asian, six percent are Hispanic and nine percent are black.
Yep, just nine percent.
Now, that’s better than say, Google, where only one percent of employees are black. (Hence the big Howard initiative.)
But better than horrible isn’t good. It’s not even bad. It’s terrible.
About the numbers, the New York Times reports that Kalanick said, “The best way to demonstrate our commitment to change is through transparency.”
As traditionally the best way to demonstrate your commitment to change is to change, others at the company are working to make things better, safer and more equitable.
Continuing to carve a nice post-Obama niche out for himself, former attorney general Eric Holder recently joined Uber; the company hopes he can bring some of the diversity magic he made at Airbnb with him. Meanwhile, board member and Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington told the Times that after reflection, she had the revelation that the company could improve if it stopped hiring “brilliant jerks.”
Uber’s new chief human resources officer, Liana Hornsey, has big plans too. She explained, “What has driven Uber to immense success — its aggression, the hard-charging attitude — has toppled over. And it needs to be shaved back.”
To that end, she’s traveling from office to office on what she calls a “listening tour,” is heavily involved in executing Uber’s $3 million pledge to support women and minorities in tech, is retooling how Uber assesses its employee’s successes and is working to change the service’s corporate values from things like “always be hustlin’” to actual corporate values.
Hornsey feels that Uber’s employees “really do believe that this company can be a force for good, if only it could stop shooting itself in the foot.”
With #deleteuber still going strong, we’ll all be watching to see if it can learn to point the gun somewhere else before it doesn’t have any customers left.