Susan Fowler, The Uber Engineer Who Exposed The Company’s Toxic Culture, Is Now A Tech Editor For The NY Times

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Written by Ann Brown

Susan Fowler Rigetti was the Uber engineer who blew the whistle on the ride sharing company’s culture of sexual harassment. And now she’s been hired by The New York Times.

Fowler Rigetti, who will serve as The Times’ technology opinion editor based in San Francisco, led to major changes being made in Uber’s leadership following her detailed account how common sexism was at the company.

She wrote a blog post titled “Reflecting on one very, very strange year at Uber” about her experience at Uber in February 2017 and it went viral. “Fowler Rigetti managers didn’t allow her to transfer to another department after this incident because she apparently had ‘performance problems.’ In fact, all of her performance reviews were perfect,” the Observer reported.

In her post, she accused human resources ignoring the sexual harassment at Uber even though managers were accused of hitting on employees. “Her blog post sparked a wide-scale investigation into Uber’s culture and an investor uprising that forced out CEO Travis Kalanick,” Business Insider reported.  In the end, more than 20 people were fired as a result of the revelation. And, more importantly, investors pushed Travis Kalanick out as CEO .

Fowler Rigetti later filed a petition with the Supreme Court “challenging the forced-arbitration clauses that tech companies routinely make employees sign as a condition of their employment,” Business Insider reported.

Now at the Times, Fowler Rigetti will write and commission tech pieces. She’s also writing a memoir, and her time at Uber also inspired the upcoming film “Disrupters.”

Uber is currently in turmoil. It was reported that Bozoma Saint John, who left Apple to go to Uber, reduced after just a year with a company because of the toxic culture at Uber.  Earlier this month the head of Human Resources at Uber resigned after just 18 months on the job. Ironically, as head of Uber’s human resources department, Liane Hornsey was one of Uber’s top spokeswomen on diversity and discrimination issues. Hornsey, staffers complained, ignored complaints of gender and racial discrimination at Uber.

“An anonymous group that claims to be Uber employees of color, members of the group told Reuters. They alleged Hornsey had used discriminatory language and made derogatory comments about Uber Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion Bernard Coleman, and had denigrated and threatened former Uber executive Bozoma Saint John, who left the company in June,” Reuters reported.

NY Times
Susan Fowler attends the 22nd Annual Webby Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on Monday, May 14, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)