Everything we know so far about Uber’s sexual harassment scandal

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Everything we know so far about Uber’s sexual harassment scandal

Former Uber engineer Susan Fowler Rigetti’s story of sexual harassment and HR complicity at the company has drawn a lot of attention from the outside world as many relate to her frustrations and the broader systemic culture of sexism that manifests itself across the tech industry. In the days since Rigetti published her account, decisions have been made both inside and outside of Uber that will determine the impact her story will have. Catch up on all of the news and analysis surrounding the story here — we will update this gallery with new developments as they emerge.

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Former Uber engineer says company ignored repeated reports of sexual harassment

The story started with a blog post from former Uber engineer Susan Fowler Rigetti. After joining payments API company Stripe and reflecting on her time at Uber, she recounted her experiences being sexually harassed, facing enabling shirkers and encountering a grossly negligent human resources department.

The claims drew quick comment from Uber CEO Travis Kalanick who assured the outside world that the company’s new chief human resources officer would be conducting an investigation. Uber board member Arianna Huffington sent out a Tweet shortly after, promising to perform her own independent investigation.

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Uber’s Travis Kalanick details independent investigation regarding sexual harassment

After Uber employees returned to the office on Monday, Kalanick sent a formal memo to his team announcing that former US Attorney General Eric Holder and Tammy Albarran, partners at law firm Covington & Burling, would be investigating Fowler’s claims. Arianna Huffington and Uber’s head of HR, Liane Hornsey, would be given resources to conduct additional investigation.

Kalanick also promised new transparency around diversity, telling employees that the company would release its own diversity numbers soon.

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Uber is not the only tech company that mishandles sexual harassment claims

During times when a single company is receiving a lot of attention for its inability to foster a healthy and safe work environment, its easy to forget that sexual harassment plagues many tech companies. From GitHub to Squarespace, many women in tech have faced workplace obstacles directly resulting from their gender.

TechCrunch’s Megan Rose Dickey reminds us all to keep our eyes open, to demand that our managers be genuine in their rejection of sexual harassment, and to be ready to stand up for our colleagues.

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How Uber can permanently regain trust

More than 80 percent of tech companies have systems in place to force employees into arbitration, preventing workers from challenging their employers in court. TechCrunch’s Connie Loizos argues that Uber could most quickly regain the trust of stakeholders by dropping its insistence on private arbitration.

Allowing employees to sue the company in court is the equivalent of putting your money where your mouth is – trusting that the ramifications wouldn’t be negative if Uber’s culture is as healthy as it insists it is.

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The #DeleteUber campaign returns following sexual harassment allegations at the company

When Uber CEO Travis Kalanick agreed to join President Trump’s economic advisory council, a campaign was sparked to get ride-sharing users to delete the Uber app en masse. The movement died down after Kalanick agreed to step down from the council, but it began to grow again after Fowler’s story of sexual harassment within the company began to go viral.

Though the #DeleteUber hashtag, indicative of the movement, received more attention this time around, the jury is still out on whether it’s having a measurable impact on the company’s growth.

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Early Uber investors say they’re ‘disappointed’ in the company’s response to sexual harassment claims

Not everyone was pleased with Uber’s decision to support an independent investigation with two prominent lawyers who have worked to advocate for the company before, a current Uber employee and an Uber board member.

Early Uber investors Freada Kapor Klein and Mitch Kapor voiced their oposistion to the investigators in a blog post saying that the group possesses inherent conflicts of interest.

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Uber female engineers to Travis: ‘there’s a systemic problem with sexism here’

On Thursday, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick met with a group of 100 female engineers to hear their unfiltered experiences at the company. Kalanick was told by his own team that sexism is systemic at Uber and that it’s up to him, rather than just his independent investigators, to fix things at the company.

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Uber says it’s “absolutely not” behind a smear campaign against ex-employee Susan Fowler Rigetti

As Uber begins its investigation into the claims of sexual harassment and negligence, Rigetti tweeted that she felt people were beginning to collect personal information for a smear campaign against her.

In a statement to TechCrunch, Uber emphatically denied engaging in a hunt for personal information on Rigetti. The company also called the prospect of such a search “wrong,” a notable assertion from a company that has approved of such tactics in the past.

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