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Uber chief vows action amidst accusations of sexual harassment by ex-employee

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By John Glenday, Reporter

February 20, 2017 | 2 min read

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has vowed to launch an ‘urgent investigation’ amidst claims by a former employee that they suffered sexual harassment while working for the ride hailing service.

Former engineer Susan Fowler went public with the accusations in a blog post on Sunday (19 February) after stating that she had hit a brick wall in pursuing official channels.

She alleged that her manager had propositioned her after joining the company in late-2015 but that no action was taken against the man because he was a ‘high performer’. Messages apparently indicating that he wished to initiate a sexual relationship were dismissed as ‘probably just an innocent mistake on his part’.

Fowler further contends that other female employees had reported the same individual to HR despite their claims that Fowler was the first to log a complaint.

Kalanick issued a public statement, saying “I have just read Susan Fowler's blog. What she describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in. It's the first time this has come to my attention so I have instructed Liane Hornsey our new chief human resources officer to conduct an urgent investigation into these allegations.

“We seek to make Uber a just workplace and there can be absolutely no place for this kind of behavior at Uber — and anyone who behaves this way or thinks this is OK will be fired.”

Sexism is believed to be widespread in the technology sector with Apple employees also attesting that their company culture is 'toxic'.

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