A blog by Susan Fowler, a female engineer who spent a year at the ride-sharing app Uber, has caused a certain amount of fuss with its revelations of sexual harassment and discrimination. The outrage would probably have been greater, though, had the technology sector – which so often presents itself as the progressive, acceptable face of capitalism – not already been suffering from a poor reputation in this area. Widely reported research shows that, while Uber’s proportion of women in technical roles is at 15.1% pretty low, it is not markedly out of kilter with the numbers elsewhere in the technology sector.
In recent days, the industry has been at the forefront of criticisms of the immigration policies of the Trump Administration. This is all very commendable, but, as an article in Inc magazine points out: “The tech industry cannot go to Washington, beg Congress for open borders and more H-1b visas, and argue that there is not enough talent in America capable of building its machines and writing its codes when you have environments like the one that Fowler dealt with at Uber. You cannot say you need more talent with a straight face when you actively suppress, ignore, and reject talented and capable individuals like Fowler and her colleagues.”