Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The big problem for Uber now: Attracting talent; Washington Post, June 14, 2017

Elizabeth Dwoskin and Todd C. Frankel, Washington Post; The big problem for Uber now: Attracting talent

[Kip Currier: Uber's ongoing travails provide an illustrative case study for the critical importance of organizational culture and core values. For an upstart start-up company betting the corporate house on developing paradigm-shifting self-driving technology, there's an ironic sense that the leadership and Board were asleep at the steering wheel (or revved up on too many Red Bulls!) for a very long time. Whether Uber can now shift out of "off-roading" bro-culture mode, institute tangible "cultural guardrails", and make lasting transformational change is anyone's guess.]

"Last year, software engineer Elizabeth Ford got what many young engineers in Silicon Valley once considered the dream job pitch: Would she be interested in working at Uber?

Ford was blunt with the Uber recruiter, telling her the company was immoral and asking not to be contacted again. “As an engineer in the Bay Area, I feel we’ve pretty much turned on Uber,” Ford, 27, who works at restaurant start-up Eatsa, said.

On Tuesday, Uber said it would be taking 47 wide-reaching steps to address a recent string of controversies about its anything-goes, cutthroat corporate culture, including allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior — accusations that have made Ford and many other tech workers, particularly women, skeptical of joining the company.

Ford said Tuesday’s actions did not change her views.

“The company still has so much toxicity,” Ford said by e-mail Tuesday evening. “They would need to change everything about their culture and how they operate to make me want to work there."

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