Uber Is Harnessing the Sexual Harassment Crisis to Rebuild Its Brand WIRED


Uber’s actions may appear bold, but in fact they’re a savvy way for Khosrowshahi to anticipate the inevitable. Regulation is coming to the large tech businesses in Silicon Valley. With public pressure mounting for those businesses to drop guidelines like forced arbitration, it’s likely that in the future, many of Uber’s peers might be forced into this shift. But by acting before these changes are required, and applied by competitors, Uber curries favor with customers, regulators, drivers, and employees.

It’s a strategic way for Khosrowshahi to restore trust to the company’s sullied brand and go a step further, advancing the belief that Uber is a pacesetter among tech companies in creating policies that are good for people over profit. Indeed, hours after Uber’s declaration, Lyft also removed obligatory sexual assault arbitration. It’s inconceivable to overestimate how crucial this redemption narrative could be to Uber’s future success. Khosrowshahi has said he aims to take Uber public next year. In america, the agency’s biggest base, Uber is, at worst, still marked as unethical by the misdeeds of its early management team, and, at best, a commodity.

Increasingly, both riders and drivers have numerous selections among ridesharing amenities. Jump into an Uber in New York City where I live, for instance, and the motive force is more likely to be tracking Lyft and Juno to boot, conducting constant mental math to decide how to take advantage of money. Riders, meanwhile, check a series of apps to see what’s least expensive. Today’s announcements, added in a blog post entitled “Turning the lights on,” are intended to shore up buyer safety while advancing the belief that the company is able to surroundings the gold normal in rideshare safety. The changes are straightforward: as mentioned, the agency will no long require Uber riders, drivers or employees to arbitrate particular person claims of sexual harassment or assault.

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Uber also will give victims the choice to settle their claims with Uber without a confidentiality requirement that covers the facts of their event. Finally, Uber has promised to put up a security transparency report that may include data on sexual assaults and other incidents that occur on the Uber platform. In fact, the company plans to take this one step further, by collaborating with experts and then outsourcing its method so others in the travel and transportation industry can use it. As West lays out this blanket of excellent projects, he also indicates that Uber seriously isn’t responsible for the large intractable social problem it really is rape and sexual attack. He takes duty for the incidents while skillfully positioning Uber as part of a solution to a bigger societal problem, in place of a problem in and of itself.

The last 18 months, West writes “have exposed a silent epidemic of sexual attack and harassment that haunts every industry and every community,” linking to a New York Times story about how the Harvey Weinstein scandal has “unleashed a tsunami” of people communicating up about sexual harassment. The message is clear: here’s not a great deal Uber’s problem as society’s problem.