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(REUTERS/Toby Melville/Illustration)


Uber tells potential employee not to worry about discrimination because ‘sexism is systemic in tech’

March 26, 2017

Embattled transportation company Uber is facing its third discrimination scandal in a month after a hiring manager defended the company to a potential recruit by saying that “sexism is systemic in tech.”

In late February, a former Uber engineer alleged that the company had retaliated against her after she reported being sexually harassed by her manager. Adding to the controversy, new Uber senior vice president Amit Singhal was forced to resign at the end of the month after it was reported that he had left his previous job at Google due to sexual harassment claims against him.

Kamilah Taylor, 30, a senior software engineer at a company in Silicon alley, said that she was approached for a developer position by a hiring manager for Uber on LinkedIn.

“In light of Uber’s questionable business practices and sexism, I have no interest in joining,” Taylor responded.

What came next, she said, stunned her.

“I understand your concern. I just want to say that sexism is systemic in tech and other industries,” wrote the manager, who was also a woman. “I’ve met some of the most inspiring people here.”

Taylor later posted the exchange to Twitter in response to a message from Julie Ann Horvath, who herself reportedly left GitHub after facing years of harassment and discrimination. Other women in tech soon chimed in with horrified reactions — including Shireen Mitchell, founder of Digital Sisters/Sistas, and Sparrow Digital Holdings co-founder Ana Milicevic, who said it was almost “as if [Uber] tried to create the worst work environment imaginable.”

“I was really shocked,” said Taylor in an interview with The Guardian. “To say, ‘There’s lots of sexism in tech,’ wouldn’t you want to be better than that? Why are you telling me that? Is that your bar?”

Making matters even worse, Taylor later learned that a male friend of hers had been also been approached by the same hiring manager. Her friend also rebuffed the offer, but not before the hiring manager tried to assure him that “not all the [organizations] at Uber have the terrible culture described in the blog posts.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.


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