By now, you’ve likely read Susan Fowler’s damning blog post on her experiences at Uber. This issue is dedicated to taking a pause and reflecting on the writing that Fowler’s blog post inspired.
If you're tired of Uber, though, I don't blame you— I've included two other, Uber-unrelated pieces at the end of the issue.
Fowler's piece prompted others from those who also worked at Uber and experienced the same culture. Amy (a pseudonym), describes her account of "the abuse and dehumanizing treatment" at the hands of colleagues and management, and Keala, too, details the failures of female in stopping that abuse, sharing an email she wrote to HR. Aimee Lucido offers her experiences and her reasons for staying at Uber.
"the damage of both direct sexual harassment and simply working in a systemically sexist environment, is deep. It’s visceral. ... it’s about a far deeper sense of invalidation and being held beneath an invisible thumb."
alter directly addresses the power dynamics at play in toxic cultures, taking apart the idea of the "high performer,” that Fowler introduces, and reminding us that systematic sexism is about power more than anything else, and not just between men and women but for everyone— male, female, and in between.
"Joe said he repeatedly witnessed his female employees experience sexual harassment at the hands of high-performing executives at the company."
While Uber takes heat, it’s important to remember that they are unfortunately not unique. Dickey reminds us of Ellen Pao, Julie Ann Horvath, and Amelie Lamont, and shares more recent stories of sexual harassment in the industry, and the conditions which enable it— indeed, not much has changed.
"When you don’t fit a certain mold, you grow accustomed to re-framing every situation and resetting power dynamics on the daily."
Ong's memory of imposter syndrome while interviewing technical candidates reads both didactic and cathartic, underlining the importance of not allowing that feeling to undermine her confidence or authority.
"With 150 different member worlds, countless more aliens besides, and a vast set of problems to solve, inclusion practice is non-negotiable. They either get it right or fail in their missions."
Not just for Trekkies! Tech can find inspiration in Starfleet which, while fictional, faces what amount to some enormous inclusion-related challenges— after all, the Federation has 150 civilisations in its membership. Campos shows us inclusion in action, starting with video examples from those at the very top— the captains: Picard, Sisko, and Janeway.
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