If you were invited to attend a meeting about tackling sexism in your place of work, what would be your thoughts on cracking sexist jokes whilst in that meeting?
Hilarious? Sort of funny? Or, like, a ridiculously STUPID idea?
We’re going with the latter.
What a pity that Uber director David Bonderman didn’t think the same...
To give a bit of background, Uber has been under intense scrutiny recently, owing to an investigation launched earlier this year to address allegations of widespread sexism, discrimination and harrassment within the taxi app company. The results, published here, laid out 47 recommendations for the business to undertake, and an all-staff meeting was called to talk about how the company plans to move forward in light of the investigation.
Ariana Huffington – founder of The Huffington Post and, herself, an Uber director – was present in the meeting and at one point, announced the arrival of a new female board member, Wan Long Martello.
‘There’s a lot of data that shows when there’s one woman on the board, it’s much more likely that there will be a second woman on the board,’ Huffington explained.
‘Actually, what it shows is it’s much more likely to be more talking,’ David Bonderman interrupted.
‘Oh. Come on, David,’ Ariana replied, following what has been reported was ‘a gasp’, echoing out into the room.
A recording of the meeting was published by Yahoo and the contents validated by an Uber staff member who was in attendence. In response to his comments, Bonderman wrote an apologetic email to all staff at the company and then promptly resigned.
‘Today at Uber’s all-hands meeting, I directed a comment to my colleague and friend Arianna Huffington that was careless, inappropriate, and inexcusable,’ the TPG Capital founder said. ‘The comment came across in a way that was the opposite of what I intended, but I understand the destructive effect it had, and I take full responsibility for that.’
He added, ‘I do not want my comments to create distraction as Uber works to build a culture of which we can be proud. I need to hold myself to the same standards that we’re asking Uber to adopt. Therefore, I have decided to resign from Uber’s board of directors, effective tomorrow morning.’
In response to his resignation, Huffington tweeted last night:
The moral of this story? Probably best men keep their sexist jokes to themselves. Like, all the time.