An Uber board member cracked a sexist joke today in an all-hands meeting meant to address the ride-hailing company’s problems with sexism and sexual harassment, the Verge reports.
Yahoo Finance acquired leaked audio from the meeting in which David Bonderman, founder of TPG Capital, can be heard making the joke to fellow board member Arianna Huffington.
Huffington argued for greater female representation within the company, saying, “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.” Bonderman replied, “What it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking.”
The blowback was immediate and uncompromising, as Twitter users expressed their outrage over Bonderman’s remarks.
Well, this a good way to undercut the whole 'zero tolerance for sexism' policy six minutes into Uber 2.0 https://t.co/6pL3Q2pNDO— Biz Carson (@bizcarson) June 13, 2017
The joke came at a remarkably bad time as Uber just underwent a massive investigation into sexual assault allegations documented by engineer Susan Fowler in a February blog post. In the wake of the investigation, CEO Travis Kalanick announced he will take a leave of absence to grieve the death of his mother, and head of business Emil Michael has left the company outright.
Uber’s board of directors pledged to rewrite the company’s 14 core values, expand its diversity efforts, and enact mandatory training for senior management, human resources, and managers. Bonderman’s sexist and ill-timed remarks only seem to reinforce the necessity of these actions.