Homepage / Technology / Op-ed: The actions of one woman toppled Travis Kalanick, paving the way for others to speak out
Amazon says this Prime Day was its biggest shopping event ever Kudlow says President Trump is 'so dissatisfied' with China trade talks that he is keeping the pressure on As stocks regain their footing, an ominous warning looms Goldman Sachs downgrades Clorox to sell, says valuation is 'unsustainably high' How Satya Nadella has spurred a tripling of Microsoft's stock price in just over four years Kudlow says economic growth could top 4% for 'a quarter or two,' more tax cuts could be coming The one chart that explains Netflix’s stunning comeback US housing starts plunge 12% in June to a nine-month low Aerospace titans Boeing and Airbus top $110 billion in orders at Farnborough Target uses Prime Day to its advantage, logging its 'biggest online shopping day' so far this year Billionaire Marc Lasry sees bitcoin reaching up to $40,000 as it becomes more mainstream and easier to trade These are the 10 US airports where you're most likely to be hacked Amazon shares slightly higher as investors await Prime Day results Wreck of Russian warship found, believed to hold gold worth $130 billion A bullish ‘phenomenon’ in bond market is weeks away from fading, top credit strategist says Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: MS, GOOGL, TXN, UAL, NFLX & more Twitter shares up 50% since late April means most upside priced in, analyst says in downgrade EU fines Google $5 billion over Android antitrust abuse Mortgage applications fall 2.5% as buyers struggle to find affordable homes America may not have the tools to counter the next financial crisis, warn Bernanke, Geithner and Paulson Investors are getting spooked as the risk of a no-deal Brexit rises EU expected to fine Google $5 billion over Android antitrust abuse Ex-FBI chief James Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterm elections Elon Musk apologizes to British cave diver following baseless 'pedo guy' claim Disney, Comcast and Fox: All you need to know about one of the biggest media battles ever Xiaomi shares notch new high after Hong Kong, mainland China stock exchanges reach agreement The trade war is complicating China's efforts to fix its economy European markets set for a strong open amid earnings; Google in focus Hedge fund billionaire Einhorn places sixth in major poker tournament The biggest spender of political ads on Facebook? President Trump Asian stocks poised to gain after Fed's Powell gives upbeat comments; dollar firmer Stocks are setting up to break to new highs Not all FAANG stocks are created equal EU ruling may be too little, too late to stop Google's mobile dominance Cramer explains how Netflix's stock managed to taper its drop after disappointing on earnings Airbnb condemns New York City's 'bellhop politics,' threatens legal retaliation Amazon sellers say they were unfairly suspended right before Prime Day, and now have two bad choices Investor explains why 'duller' tech stocks can have better returns than 'high-flying' tech names Elon Musk is 'thin-skinned and short-tempered,' says tech VC Texas Instruments CEO Brian Crutcher resigns for violating code of conduct Google Cloud Platform fixes issues that took down Spotify, Snapchat and other popular sites Uber exec: We want to become the 'one stop' transportation app 'What a dumb hearing,' says Democrat as Congress grills tech companies on conservative bias Amazon shares rebound, report says Prime Day sales jumped 89 percent in first 12 hours of the event How to put your medical history on your iPhone in less than 5 minutes Investment chief: Watch these two big events in 2018 Even with Netflix slowing, the market rally is likely not over Cramer: Netflix subscriber weakness debunks the 'sky's the limit' theory on the stock Netflix is looking at watch time as a new area of growth, but the competition is stiff Why Nobel laureate Richard Thaler follows Warren Buffett's advice to avoid bitcoin Rolls-Royce is developing tiny 'cockroach' robots to crawl in and fix airplane engines After Netflix plunge, Wall Street analysts forecast just tame returns ahead for the once high-flying FANG group Roku shares rise after analyst raises streaming video company's price target due to customer growth China is investing 9 times more into Europe than into North America, report reveals Amazon says US Prime Day sales 'so far bigger than ever' as glitch is resolved Netflix is on pace for its worst day in two years US lumber producers see huge opportunity, rush to expand San Francisco to consider tax on companies to help homeless Homebuilder sentiment, still high, stalls as tariffs, labor and land drive up costs Powell backs more rate hikes as economy growing 'considerably stronger' Netflix history is filled with big stock declines – like today – followed by bigger rebounds Intel shares get downgraded by Evercore ISI due to rising competition from Nvidia, AMD Petco aims to reinvent the pet store with something you can't buy online Genetic testing is coming of age, but for consumers it's buyer beware Tech 'FAANG' was the most-crowded trade in the world heading into the Netflix implosion, survey shows Netflix weak subscriber growth may indicate a 'maturity wall' that could whack the stock even more: Analyst This chart may be predicting the bull market's demise Wall Street says Netflix's stock plunge is a ‘compelling’ buying opportunity because the streaming giant ‘never misses twice’ Tesla sinks after Musk tweets, again Boeing announces new division devoted to flying taxis Stocks making the biggest move premarket: NFLX, UNH, GS, AMZN, WMT & more Deutsche Bank downgrades Netflix, but says big subscriber miss is not 'thesis changing' IBM is experimenting with a cryptocurrency that’s pegged to the US dollar North Korea and Zimbabwe: A friendship explained Virgin Galactic spinoff Orbit to launch rockets from the UK with space deal Artificial intelligence will create more jobs than it destroys? That’s what PwC says ‘Treasonous’ Trump and ‘Putin’s poodle:' Scathing headlines follow the Trump-Putin summit China’s fintech companies offer ‘enormous’ opportunity, investment manager says Trump's performance at summit with Putin was 'unprecedented,' experts say Walmart and Microsoft link up on cloud technology as they both battle Amazon European stocks seen mixed amid earnings; Fed’s Powell to address Congress How I knew I should quit my day job and run my start-up full-time: Viral website founder China's stocks have been trounced, but the trade war may ultimately be good news for those shares Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel bets on crypto start-up Block.one Asian shares subdued open after mixed close on Wall Street; energy stocks under pressure Amazon cloud hits snags after Amazon Prime Day downtime Netflix isn't doomed by one quarter unless people start questioning the long-term investor thesis Tech stocks set to sink on Tuesday after rough evening for ‘FANG’ Netflix plummets after missing big on subscriber growth This wristband lets humans control machines with their minds The U.S. has a rocky history convincing Russia to extradite computer criminals Amazon suffers glitches at the start of Prime Day Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in modern history 'The United States has been foolish': Read Trump and Putin's full exchange Goldman Sachs recommends these 5 highly profitable companies — including Nvidia — to combat rising inflation Goldman Sachs releases 'tactical' stock picks for this earnings season Three red flags for Netflix ahead of its earnings report The bond market may be raising recession fears, but don't expect one anytime soon Cramer: Banks are 'making fortunes' but are still as hated as they were during the financial crisis Putin told Trump at summit: Russia never meddled in US election


Op-ed: The actions of one woman toppled Travis Kalanick, paving the way for others to speak out

This week, Travis Kalanick — the legendary take-no-prisoners CEO whose Silicon Valley home is known as a hotbed of entrepreneurial ideas— stepped down from the company.

Susan Fowler, an Uber engineer who now works at Stripe, blew Uber wide open with her blog post, “Reflecting on one very, very strange year at Uber.”

But Susan Fowler was not the first woman to sound the alarm about foul play at Uber.

Engineer Tess Rinearson wrote a viral blog post in 2016, titled “Dear Uber Recruiter,” noting that “Uber’s track record on women scares me.”

But Tess Rinearson was not the first woman to write about Uber’s misconduct.

Sarah Lacy, founder of technology blog Pando Daily and long-time journalist, said in 2014 she had revamped her home security, fearful that Emil Michael, then a top Uber executive, was spying on her after Michael told reporters that he could hire opposition researchers to dig up dirt on them. Lacy had previously written a fierce critique of Uber for a sexist ad campaign in France.

The backlash was fierce. “Masculinity” blog Return of Kings accused her of running an “anti-male” smear campaign.

But Sarah Lacy was not the first woman to talk about Uber’s questionable policies.

Uber has always treated its drivers as independent contractors, and has resisted calls for more stringent background checks — for instance, the company (as well as rival Lyft) withdrew service from Austin, Texas, after voters in that city passed a resolution calling for fingerprint checks of Uber drivers. Meanwhile, women across the world accused Uber drivers of raping or sexually assaulting them as early as 2014.

Yet after all this, it was Fowler’s blog post that dealt the deadly blow to Kalanick’s reign.

The post was special in many ways. A quick glance at her Twitter feed reveals Fowler is well-regarded and is deeply and broadly accomplished. She has intricate, considered opinions on topics ranging from coding to physics to philosophy. Her blog post is personal and level-headed — instead of hurling superlatives at readers, Fowler lays out a simple, well-written chronology that reads as credible.

She described how her manager’s chat messages said he “was trying to stay out of trouble at work …. but he couldn’t help getting in trouble, because he was looking for women to have sex with.” But upper management said he “was a high performer.”

She wrote how when men received leather jackets on Uber’s dime, “no leather jackets were being ordered for the women because there were not enough women in the organization to justify placing an order.”

She described a meeting with her manager where he said she was on “very thin ice for reporting his manager to HR.”

“California is an at-will employment state, he said, which means we can fire you if you ever do this again,” he said, according to Fowler.

And after that, report after report surfaced describing Uber employees doing drugs, going to escort bars, avoiding regulators, and hiring engineers who may have stolen intellectual property. Over 20 people were dismissed from Uber, although details about the investigation into Fowler’s post were never revealed publicly.

But importantly, Fowler’s blog post came amid a widening deficit of trust in Silicon Valley.

Amid grumbling about “coastal elites” in middle America, Snapchat reportedly has an exclusive secret floor in its New York office with lavish decorations selected by CEO Evan Spiegel — and pictures aren’t allowed. Tesla workers are reportedly passing out on factory floors. Technology companies store hundreds of billions of dollars overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes that execs such as Apple CEO Tim Cook call “crazy” — a perfectly legal move, but one that doesn’t necessarily inspire trust among tax-paying citizens who can’t take advantage of rules to lower their tax rate.

As more tech insiders speak out about the culture of the Valley, things are changing — not just for women, but for people of color and people of different social classes who are affected by the goings on in Redmond, Menlo Park, Mountain View and Cupertino.

The internet has amplified the voices of individuals in technology. In addition to Sarah Lacy, female journalists like Recode’s Kara Swisher and Johana Bhuiyan, Business Insider’s Julie Bort, and many others have helped drive these narratives forward. Activists like Ellen Pao of Uber-investor Kapor Capital put muscle behind this coverage.

Still, the woman who started it all has not gotten her due — Fowler said she has not received an apology from Uber. She recently wrote that confidentiality agreements and forced arbitration still enable bad behavior at many technology companies. Women and people of color are still by far minorities in most big technology firms.

Kalanick, who still owns a huge chunk of Uber stock and will remain on the board, may face waning influence.

But the true effect of Fowler’s post is just beginning, as is the work left to be done by technology watchers. Because there are many more whistleblowers like Susan Fowler whose stories have fallen on deaf ears. And perhaps, more CEOs due to be toppled.

Source: Tech CNBC
Op-ed: The actions of one woman toppled Travis Kalanick, paving the way for others to speak out

Comments are closed.