After a damning report on its unsurprising sexist, tech bro culture was released on Tuesday, Uber held an all-staff meeting to discuss the findings. As board member Arianna Huffington hailed the addition of Uber's second female board member, another board member, David Bonderman, made a misogynistic comment.
While speaking, Huffington pointed out that Uber was adding a woman to its board, Wan Ling Martello.Recode's Kara Swisher wrote:
“There’s a lot of data that shows when there’s one woman on the board, it’s much more likely that there will be a second woman on the board,” she said around six minutes into the recording.
“Actually what it shows is it’s much more likely to be more talking,” Uber board member David Bonderman said.
“Oh. Come on, David,” Huffington responded.
Yes. He. Said. That.According to the NY Times, "Attendees were aghast at the exchange, especially at a time when Uber has been trying to overcome a series of scandals over corporate misbehavior, including sexual harassment claims... After the staff meeting, employees angry at Mr. Bonderman’s remarks sent numerous emails to their managers and to Liane Hornsey, Uber’s head of human resources, according to people with knowledge of the situation, who asked to remain anonymous because the details are confidential."
Yes. At. A. Meeting. About. Sexism. At. Uber. Thereby — thanks a lot, very clueless dude — proving the point.
Bonderman later issued an apology, but I am not even going to include it because he does not deserve it in any way.
Bonderman, the billionaire chairman of TPG Capital, resigned in the wake of the controversy, saying, "I directed a comment to my colleague and friend Arianna Huffington that was careless, inappropriate, and inexcusable. Having worked with the company for some months on the Holder report, I recognize the importance of implementing the requirements of the report. Uber is examining the issues with its culture, making significant changes and working to right what has been done wrong, which is extremely important for the future of the company. I do not want my comments to create distraction as Uber works to build a culture of which we can be proud."
"I appreciate David doing the right thing for Uber at this time of critical cultural changes at the company," Huffington said.
A 2012 study by professors from Princeton and Brigham Young University found that actually men talk more during meetings. Tali Mendelberg told the Times, "The study shows that men will dominate the conversation if there are more men than women in the group, and they dominate by a lot/ When you have just two women in the group, those women are much more silent than men are."
Former Uber engineer Susan J. Fowler, whose personal essay about the sexist culture perpetuated at the company—her many complaints about inappropriate colleagues and supervisors went ignored by HR—sparked the report, had some comments:
Thank you so much everyone for all of the kind messages today. Don't forget that you can make a change too. It only takes one person!— Susan J. Fowler (@susanthesquark) June 13, 2017
You can never go wrong if you stand up for what's right. Truth will always win.— Susan J. Fowler (@susanthesquark) June 13, 2017
If you don't know what's right, I highly recommend reading about virtue ethics and deontology (specifically Kantian).— Susan J. Fowler (@susanthesquark) June 13, 2017
Knowing ethics - what's wrong and what's right - is the most important thing you can do to better your self, your life, and your world.— Susan J. Fowler (@susanthesquark) June 13, 2017