CW: Sexual harassment
In an article by Time, former Uber software engineer Susan Fowler opens up about her blog post describing the sexual harassment she faced while working at the company. Her report came after a manager was talking about sex on an open chat in the company app. Fowler took a screenshot of the conversation and reported it to HR. After her blog post, which can be read here, Fowler published a book called Whistleblower, detailing her fight for justice in the events during and after working at Uber.
image via time
To make matters worse, Fowler experienced constant harassment outside of work after she reported the sexual harassment. She found out people were digging for information about her, even going so far as to follow her. Fowler was told by friends and family that they were being asked by strange people about her, some that Fowler hadn’t been in contact with since she was a teenager. It’s really disturbing.
Fowler notes that eventually, private investigators were trying to get in touch with her. Fowler received a call from someone she didn’t know but decided to answer it. On the other side was a woman claiming to be working on a case against Uber, and she wanted Fowler to help her. Fowler declined and did her own research. It turned out that the woman worked for a firm that was hired for past cases working to discredit victims of sexual misconduct!
Fowler also notes instances of her social media being hacked, her phone ringing constantly to alert her, her email being hacked and combed through, and her sister’s accounts being hacked into. Although not directly correlated, it seems that Uber was retaliating against Fowler for speaking up, but she persevered.
In an interview with NPR News, Fowler speaks with David Greene about what happened after she filed the report. Fowler describes that the work culture was toxic, full of misogyny, bullying, and harassment. She’s had what she calls, “surreal encounters with an HR department that refused to take action.” She noticed a culture of destruction and rule-breaking, and was often yelled or berated at during meetings.
It’s really disgusting to think that this happens in workplaces, but it’s important to know that change can occur, which is what happened after Fowler left. The company’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, along with twenty other employees, were fired after investigations were held.
image via amazon
If you’d like to read about Fowler’s experience (and you should!), you can get her book on Amazon, linked just above.
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