Uh-oh Uber!: Epic fails and a lesson on diversity

By now, most people are aware of the epic back to back fails Uber has encountered, but in case you aren’t, let me recap them for you.

Epic Fail #1: Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, joined the President’s business advisory council, and undermined the taxi strike following the refugees ban. This resulted in the launch of the #DeleteUber social media campaign, and the loss of 200,000 customers overnight.

Epic Fail #2: An employee alleged she was sexually harassed and management ignored her claims because the employee in question was a top performer.

Epic Fail #3: Mr. Kalanick got into a heated argument and belittled one of his employees.

Not only can we learn some valuable lessons on brand reputation risks from all of this, but it also provides an interesting backdrop for a lesson on diversity and inclusion. Diversity is a term we’ve all heard before. In fact, most organizations have addressed it somewhere in their policies. However, everyday practices of corporations exemplify the exact opposite. For a moment, stop and think about the makeup of your board. Is there a healthy mix of men and women? How about racial diversity? Age? Now do the same for your management team. Do you have a healthy mix of men and women? Are minorities a part of Executive Management? Now take it a step further and evaluate your member or customer base. Who uses your services the most? Are they represented in top leadership in your company? These are the important questions that we all need to be asking ourselves as we move forward. Our board rooms, and management teams should be reflective of the audience we are serving. It’s not enough to fill our frontlines and middle management with diversity. We must include them in positions that possess the authority to shape the direction of our organizations.


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