Uber has been rocked by allegations of workplace sexism and sexual harassment — and at a company-wide meeting Tuesday, a board member demonstrated how big the hurdles to changing that culture will be.
The meeting was called to address an investigation into workplace sexism that resulted in a 13-page report of suggested ethical changes. CEO Travis Kalanick also announced Tuesday that he would be taking a leave of absence from the company.
Uber board member Arianna Huffington gave an address to employees in attendance announcing the appointment of Wan Ling Martello to the company board and expressing her hopes that having another woman in a position of power would improve the conditions at Uber.
According to audio of the meeting obtained by Yahoo Finance, Uber board member David Bonderman used this meeting as an opportunity to make a joke about how much women supposedly talk.
HUFFINGTON: There’s a lot of data that shows when there’s one woman on the board, it’s much more likely that there will be a second woman on the board.
BONDERMAN: Actually what it shows is it’s much likely to be more talking.
HUFFINGTON: Oh. Come on, David.
It was a stunningly tone-deaf moment. According to other reporting, some in the room were horrified:
Insane. An Uber director's casual jokey misogyny during a presentation explaining how he and the rest of the board are fixing its culture https://t.co/6qhWD8Ukml— Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) June 13, 2017
1. good get, JP— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) June 13, 2017
2. just got off the phone with someone who called this out specifically at the meeting. The room was apparently aghast. https://t.co/8oK6CBGuJ4