Uber Director quits after gender gaffe at culture summit

Uber Director quits after gender gaffe at culture summit

Uber has made a series of serious HR gaffes over the last six months, culminating in a company culture summit and the publication of a 13-page document outlining changes that need to be made.

However, at the company culture meeting, held earlier this week, David Bonderman, a now ex-Board member, had to resign after making sexist remarks in response to ideas on hiring diversely.

According to the New York Times, Arianna Huffington, another Board member, was explaining to attendees how a single woman on a company board can lead to other female members joining. Bonderman is alleged to have responded: “Actually, what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking.”

At a time when Uber is trying to overcome corporate misbehaviour, sexual harassment claims and an investigation into its culture, Bonderman’s comment came at a bad time and left attendees aghast.

After complaints to Liane Hornsey, Uber’s Head of Human Resources, Bonderman resigned. In a statement, Bonderman said his comments “came across in a way that was the opposite of what I intended, but I understand the destructive effect it had, and I take full responsibility for that.

“I do not want my comments to create distraction as Uber works to build a culture of which we can be proud. I need to hold myself to the same standards that we’re asking Uber to adopt. Therefore, I have decided to resign from Uber’s Board of Directors, effective tomorrow morning.”

As a result of ongoing HR problems at the firm, co-Founder and CEO Travis Kalanick has agreed to take a leave of absence from his role.

The ride-hail firm business was also investigated by former-US Attorney General Eric Holder, publishing recommendations to overcome serious problems with the company’s culture.

The recommendations include: using performance reviews to hold senior leaders accountable; increasing the profile of the Head of Diversity; creating an oversight committee and improving the record-keeping of Human Resources.



Specific mention was made about improving the management support for human resources and making sure human resources is adequately staffed in the future.

Uber have had to deal with scrutiny over the ‘self-employment’ contracts it offers their taxi drivers, claims that an executive shared the files of a customer who was raped and leaks regarding emails and outbursts from CEO in absentia, Kalanick.

The ride hail firm were founded in 2009 and are valued at circa $50billion.

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