Uber recruiters find a wall of resistance from women they try to hire – The Denver Post

By Elizabeth Dwoskin and Todd C. Frankel, The Washington Post

SAN FRANCISCO — 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. “They would need to change everything about their culture and how they operate to make me want to work there.

Silicon Valley recruiters, tech workers and analysts agree it will continue to be challenging for Uber to rehabilitate its reputation within the tech industry and return to the days when the company enjoyed almost unfettered access to the Valley’s talent pipeline.

The company’s months-long investigation resulted in recommendations for mandatory leadership training, formalizing the handling of employee complaints and new limits on alcohol and illegal drugs at company events. Uber’s board also announced that chief executive Travis Kalanick would take an indefinite leave of absence. Earlier in June, more than 20 Uber employees were fired.

It was perhaps the darkest day in the eight-year history of the company, which invented a ride-hailing app that disrupted transportation cities around the global and boasts the highest value of any private tech firm in the world at an estimated $69 billion.

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