An Uber-Example of a No-No in DE&I Efforts


We’ve all heard of it. Heck, we’ve pretty much all used it for a vast array of purposes. (Apparently I can use Uber like an Amazon delivery?) In any case, Uber is a leading company in both our domestic and international economies.

Like the leader they are, Uber has been trying to increase and set an example by its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives.

This is a worthy and needed effort. However, Uber has faced some challenges and concerns recently.

Courtney Vinopal at HR Brew summarizes Uber’s issue:

“...the company recently faced backlash from its staff over “Don’t Call Me Karen,” a series of events focusing on “the spectrum of the American white woman’s experience”...The “Karen” persona refers to a meme that gained traction in 2020 and was used to describe entitled white women who harass people of color.”

Uber employees expressed concerns that this was was insensitive to people of color. Uber’s diversity chief, Bo Young Lee, was put on a leave of absence as a result.

This is a good example of DE&I initiatives not focused on or informed by what matters most: employee beliefs, experiences, and perceptions. This Uber example reinforces the importance of understanding employee perspectives and using them to drive DE&I efforts.

As Courtney Vinopal asserts, “The debacle highlights the importance of engaging in regular dialogue with employees and soliciting their feedback before spearheading efforts that could offend staff, according to DE&I professionals.”

Feedback and understanding prevents backlash and unnecessary turnover.

The best way to understand your employees is to use an effective, efficient, and accessible employee-organizational assessment. Luckily for you, we at BridgeWorks have just the thing to help.