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This is not leadership

June 15, 2017

The case of Uber is a trainwreck for anyone concerned with equal opportunity, blatant sexism and a host of other issues. The company is taking steps, yes. But this comment yesterday from a (now ex) board member is particularly disturbing.

ReCode reported:

Uber confirmed that Bonderman has stepped down.

Fellow board member Arianna Huffington was addressing the staff during the meeting and said, “There’s a lot of data that shows when there’s one woman on a board it’s much more likely that there will be a second woman on the board.”

Bonderman responded: “Actually, what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking.”

Let’s break this down a bit further.

This guy is an Uber board member. That’s the one part that makes sense, given the company’s history.

He has been (based on his statement further down in the article) working “with the company for the last few months on the Holder report.” The very report the company was more or less forced to do to uncover and fix blatant sexism, sexual harassment and a general anti-women environment.

This guy made this inappropriate and hurtful comment directly to a respected and respectful female entrepreneur and leader. And he said it  during the company’s all-staff meeting that was held to discuss the very topic the investigation and subsequent report about accounts of sexism and sexual harassment at the company. It’s disgraceful.

This is not leadership.

Is this kind of behavior something a report will fix?

Bonderman’s comment is based on ages of stereotypes and sexist behavior. I don’t know his history. It doesn’t matter. I know there are two women leaders in his company (at least the two I identified obviously because of their names). I don’t know how long those women have been with the company.

This is a person, a man, who should know better. Yet he doesn’t. He likely thinks it’s funny and socially acceptable to insult a woman in the same role as him; insulting all women in the process. And doing it flippantly at a critical juncture in Uber’s development.

I think he may not learn any true lesson here, except that he should have kept his mouth shut.

I do know he should have been fired before having the chance to resign, even if the resignation wasn’t his choice at all.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2017 16:23

    I think we may not have come as far in equality as we all would like to believe. Now it is just clothed in poor humor.


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