Uber Drops $5 Million On Sexual Assault Prevention After Company Has Problems Of Its Own

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Eric Lieberman Managing Editor
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Uber is donating $5 million to seven sexual assault prevention organizations over the next five years, as the company has dealt with many issues related to the cause itself.

The company announced in a blog post that it is funding groups like Raliance, Women of Color Network, A CALL TO MEN, and The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, among others.

“Nearly 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced sexual assault and/or domestic violence in their lifetime. It can happen anywhere – in our homes, our schools, our workplaces, our transportation and even our public spaces,” Tracey Breeden, global safety communications lead and a former police detective, wrote on a memo for the company’s website. “Today we are making a major commitment to drive change.”

“As a result of this ongoing collaboration,” Breeden continued, “we have begun to make important changes internally and will commit to use Uber’s scope and visibility to help drive awareness, education and prevention of sexual assault and domestic violence to millions globally.”

The move comes months after Susan Fowler, a former female engineer for Uber, detailed allegations of misconduct during her time there. Among her account are claims that a manager consistently pressured her to have sex with him, and the subsequent struggle to get someone to take her complaint of his highly inappropriate behavior seriously. Multiple other women employees at the company, including a fellow female engineer, came forward with their own stories after Fowler did. (RELATED: Uber Sexual Assault Accuser Signs Movie Deal)

Uber ended up firing at least 20 employees amid an internal investigation into workplace culture, an ethos that seemed to be centered around having “fun” — booze-filled ragers, consumption of illicit drugs — and winning at all costs. While Uber’s commercial success is clear since it essentially dominates the ride-sharing market, the board of directors issued an overhaul of the company that it felt was seeping in moral toxicity.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was eventually ousted by the board, and told employees that he needs “to work on Travis 2.0” in order for “Uber 2.0” to come to fruition. Kalanick initially acquiesced to the demands to leave, but is trying to make a comeback, which has caused deep divisiveness among board members and original investors. (RELATED: Uber’s Next CEO Isn’t One Person, But A 14-Person Committee)

All of this fallout in some way stems from Fowler’s decision to publicize her accusations of sexual harassment at Uber. In fact, many publications credit the 26-year-old for creating a constructive domino effect in which workers of other companies in Silicon Valley, through inspiration from Fowler, also spoke out of their own experiences.

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