Uber launches ‘urgent investigation’ after sexual harassment claims

Engineer Susan Fowler wrote in a personal blog post that she had suffered 'sexual harassment', witnessed 'political games' and received 'threats' from her manager 

Josie Co
Business Editor
@JosieCox_London
Monday 20 February 2017 08:56
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A blog post written by former Uber engineer Susan Fowler detailed a litany of instances during her time at the firm
A blog post written by former Uber engineer Susan Fowler detailed a litany of instances during her time at the firm

Ride-sharing giant Uber is launching an “urgent investigation” into workplace practices after a former employee published a damning blog detailing sexual harassment and discrimination she allegedly suffered while working for the company.

Susan Fowler, who says that she left Uber in December where she had been working as an engineer, wrote in a personal blog post published on Sunday that she had suffered “sexual harassment”, witnessed “political games” and received “threats” from her manager after reporting incidents to the company’s human resources department.

In a statement sent to Huffington Post in response to Ms Fowler’s blog, Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick said that what is described in the blog is “abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in”.

“It’s the first time this has come to my attention so I have instructed Liane Hornsey our new chief human resources officer to conduct an urgent investigation into these allegations,” he wrote.

“We seek to make Uber a just workplace FOR EVERYONE and there can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at Uber ― and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired.”

In May last year, Freedom of Information data obtained by The Sun newspaper revealed 32 assault claims were made against employees of the taxi-hailing app in London over the preceding twelve months, which equates to one every eleven days.

That followed a string of sexual assault claims in the US against Uber drivers, which tarnished the company’s reputation of being safe.

According to Huffington Post, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson has also called on Uber to start releasing a workplace diversity report amid concerns that it employs few women and ethnic minorities.

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