by Pranam Lipinksi
Originally published: July 11, 2017
As one of Uber’s former recruiting partners, I’ve witnessed firsthand as the company has become the poster child for what not to do when trying to create an inclusive work environment. However, I can confidently say that the company’s HR issues with workplace culture and diversity don't stem from bad recruiting intentions, but rather the opposite. While they were attempting to bring diverse talent into the organization from the outside, they failed to realize that the company’s culture was broken on the inside.
Of course, failures in creating inclusive workforces exist outside of Uber and across Silicon Valley. The problem is systemic in nature. Despite the widespread calls for diversity and publicized diversity efforts, women (30%), Hispanics (6%) and African Americans (3%) are still drastically underemployed within top technology companies. This has led to a focus on showcasing a steady increase of representation of diverse groups and encouraging hiring managers to diversify their teams.
While these efforts may slowly change top-line diversity numbers, they don’t illustrate more inclusive workplaces. In fact, they may be doing more harm than good. One of the largest analysis of workplace diversity done to date by Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev for Harvard Business Review found that these efforts to force diversity upon middle management can actually create more biases rather than fewer.