|15 July, 2019

Uber adds useful numbers to solve gender equation

The company announced the new goals to shake up the rank and file

A screen displays the company logo and the trading information for Uber Technologies Inc. after the closing bell on the day of it's IPO at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 10, 2019.

A screen displays the company logo and the trading information for Uber Technologies Inc. after the closing bell on the day of it's IPO at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., May 10, 2019.

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK - Uber Technologies is paving the way with good intentions for corporate diversity. The ride-hailing app, not long ago known for its toxic culture, is tying executive compensation to gender and minority employment goals. Linking pay to targets is a concrete way to move forward.

The company announced the new goals on Monday to shake up the rank and file. By 2022, Uber wants to have women hold at least 35% of manager positions or above, and under-represented minorities account for some 14% of junior-level manager jobs or above.

The firm didn’t break out how many women and minorities are currently in those roles. A diversity report published with the announcement revealed that women hold 28% of executive level positions, but that’s not a like-to-like comparison to the target.

Still, to ensure that change happens, Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi and others on his team will have those targets as a key performance metric in their annual pay packages. An Uber spokesman told Breakingviews it was one of a few indicators tied to compensation, and the percentage of the bonus affected is “significant.”

Microsoft and Intel have similar metrics for remuneration but too few firms are willing to hold the executive suite responsible in such a tangible way. Facebook for example just announced a worthy goal of ensuring its workforce is made up of 50% women and minorities in five years, but it stopped short of linking CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s pay to fulfilling that aim.

Just two years ago Uber was plagued with sexual harassment issues and a culture so hostile it cost founder Travis Kalanick his job as CEO. New leader Khosrowshahi has pledged to clean up Uber and make it more inclusive. It’s nice to see that he and the board of the $75 billion firm are putting their money where their mouth is.

CONTEXT NEWS

- Uber Technologies said on July 15 that it was tying executive compensation to diversity and inclusion goals. By 2022, the ride-hailing app is aiming to have at least 35% of management level positions and above filled by women, and 14% of junior manager or higher roles filled by underrepresented minorities.

- Women currently represent 28% of executive leadership roles while African American, Hispanic and multiracial employees hold just under 8% of such roles.

(Editing by Tom Buerkle and Amanda Gomez)

© Reuters News 2019

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