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“There were two major reasons for this: there was the organizational chaos, and there was also the sexism within the organization.” She said that when she asked a director what Uber was doing about the plummeting numbers, “his reply was, in a nutshell, that the women of Uber just needed to step up and be better engineers.” Fowler also recounted what she described as a “comically absurd” sexist episode in which the company had promised leather jackets for all staffers, including six women.
Today, Fowler works for Stripe, a payment platform, doing site reliability engineering.
She started her new role in January 2017, a month after parting ways with Uber; and just last weekend, she published a horrifying blog post, describing her experience as a woman working at Uber, that has already prompted the company to launch an independent investigation.
“I tried to escalate the situation but got nowhere with either HR or with my own management chain (who continued to insist that they had given him a stern talking-to and didn’t want to ruin his career over his ‘first offense’),” she wrote, explaining that she ended up leaving that team.
Fowler said she later realized when she met other women engineers in the company that her case was far from an isolated incident.
“I kept pushing, until finally I was told that ‘performance problems aren’t always something that has to do with work, but sometimes can be about things outside of work or your personal life.’” Fowler went on to say that Uber’s staff was more than 25 percent female when she joined the company — but that it had dwindled to less than 6 percent by the time she tried to transfer.
“Women were transferring out of the organization, and those who couldn’t transfer were quitting or preparing to quit,” she wrote.Her manager told her a few days later that she was “on very thin ice” for going to HR — and that she’d be canned if she filed another complaint, she wrote.“I had a new job offer in my hands less than a week later,” wrote Fowler, who joined Stripe in January.“Some of the women even had stories about reporting the exact same manager I had reported, and had reported inappropriate interactions with him long before I had even joined the company,” she wrote.“It became obvious that both HR and management had been lying about this being ‘his first offense,’ and it certainly wasn’t his last.” Her manager, whom she did not name, eventually left the company.“Upper management told me that he ‘was a high performer’ (i.e.