by Jason Snell
An Uber HR horror story
Susan J. Fowler details her terrible year at Uber:
As most of you know, I left Uber in December and joined Stripe in January. I’ve gotten a lot of questions over the past couple of months about why I left and what my time at Uber was like. It’s a strange, fascinating, and slightly horrifying story that deserves to be told while it is still fresh in my mind.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick responded to this post on Twitter by saying it would be investigated and was “against everything we believe in,” but Fowler’s story reads a whole lot more like she was let down by Uber’s corporate culture itself.
The truth is, while employees often feel that a Human Resources department exists to serve and support them—and many HR professionals feel this way too—the HR department works for the company and its ultimate job is to protect the company.
In a company where treating all employees fairly and creating a good work environment is part of the corporate culture, these things are all in alignment. When the corporate culture is rotten, that’s when an HR group starts doing things like gaslighting employees. And that’s why Kalanick’s statement rings hollow to me. Maybe he doesn’t think this is his corporate culture—but it is.