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Codeshare 2017 - Not just Uber

Alex Qin
April 13, 2017

Codeshare 2017 - Not just Uber

Susan Fowler recently came forward with her story of being sexually harassed and discriminated against at Uber. The story was picked up by almost all major news sources, including the NYTimes, and has forced Uber to begin a serious internal investigation. In light of the allegations, Uber investors have come forward denouncing the company’s culture, and over 100 Uber employees are already said to have resigned.

Many are shocked and outraged at how Susan was treated, even after she (and other women) repeatedly reported incidents to HR. However, this story is not unusual, and many women in tech have been sharing their own similar experiences for years. And yet, diversity numbers and tech culture haven’t changed for the better.

This talk is an exploration of what happens when women in tech whistleblow. It will:
- Give a short history of women whistleblowing in tech
- Cover the impact that these incidents have had on the individuals and companies involved, and on the industry’s culture as a whole
- Aim to answer the question: Will Susan’s story engender lasting positive change?

Alex Qin

April 13, 2017
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  1. Not just Uber
    @alexqin
    #notjustuber
    #codeshare

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  2. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  3. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  4. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  5. what happens when
    women in tech
    whistleblow?
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  6. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  7. whistleblower
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  8. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  9. whis·tle-blow·er
    A whistleblower is a person who exposes any kind
    of information or activity that is deemed illegal,
    unethical, or not correct within an organization that
    is either private or public.
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  10. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  11. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  12. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  13. whistleblow
    public reaction
    impact on whistleblower
    impact on organization
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  14. Julie Ann Horvath
    @nrrrdcore
    Github
    3/14
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  15. whistleblow
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  16. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  17. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  18. public reaction
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  19. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  20. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  21. impact on
    whistleblower
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  22. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  23. doxx
    search for and publish private or identifying
    information about (a particular individual) on the
    Internet, typically with malicious intent.
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  24. “The tweet Horvath has burned into her mind is
    an anonymous one that lists her address and
    threatens sexual assault on her and her entire
    family, including her 9-year-old niece.”
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  25. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  26. impact on
    organization
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  27. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  28. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  29. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  30. whistleblow: Julie Ann Horvath, Github - 3/14
    public reaction: 350 RTs, 223 likes
    impact on whistleblower: doxx, PTSD
    impact on organization: null
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  31. Erica Joy
    @EricaJoy
    Google
    11/14
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  32. whistleblow
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  33. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  34. “Did you get that bruise from your boyfriend
    beating you?”
    and
    “I bet your parents abused you as a child.”
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  35. “I went to my manager about the problems, told
    him that I planned to speak with HR. It was
    decided that the best way to deal with the
    ‘tension’ between that coworker and I was for
    me to transfer to New York, despite my not
    wanting to move there.”
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  36. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  37. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  38. public reaction
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  39. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  40. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  41. impact on
    whistleblower
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  42. “The stress also caused some level of
    depression, which I wasn’t really aware of until
    recently. I’m working on fixing this, for the sake
    of my mental and physical health. “
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  43. impact on
    organization
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  44. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  45. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  46. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  47. whistleblow: Erica Joy, Google - 11/14
    public reaction: 1.5k likes (medium) 

    215 RTs, 290 likes (twitter)
    impact on whistleblower: depression
    impact on organization: null
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  48. Ellen Pao
    @ekp
    Kleiner Perkins
    2/15
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  49. whistleblow
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  50. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  51. “Ms. Pao says a married colleague pressured
    her into an affair and then retaliated against her
    when she broke it off. When she complained,
    she says she was discriminated against and
    got poor reviews, resulting ultimately in her
    dismissal. She accuses Kleiner of treating her
    ‘despicably, maliciously, fraudulently and
    oppressively’ from ‘an improper and evil motive
    amounting to malice.’
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  52. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  53. public reaction
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  54. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  55. impact on
    whistleblower
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  56. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  57. impact on
    organization
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  58. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  59. whistleblow: Ellen Pao, Kleiner Perkins - 2/15
    public reaction: national news coverage
    impact on whistleblower: online harassment
    impact on organization: null
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  60. Amélie Lamont
    @amelielamont
    Squarespace
    3/16
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  61. whistleblow
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  62. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  63. “She stared at me for a few seconds and
    remarked, ‘Oh. I didn’t see you. You blended in.
    You’re so black, you blend into the chair.’”
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  64. public reaction
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  65. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  66. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  67. impact on
    whistleblower
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  68. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  69. “I published the article about 3 months ago
    now, and people have just been incredibly
    supportive. More importantly, I’ve realized this is
    something that happens to so many people,
    especially women of color. Writing the article, as
    scary as it was for me, was good because it
    also encouraged two other women of color who
    worked at Squarespace to speak up, who
    confirmed the toxic environment.”
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  70. “It turns out that I have a form of post-traumatic
    stress disorder. […] I’ve slowly been improving,
    but what has Squarespace done?”
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  71. impact on
    organization
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  72. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  73. whistleblow: Amélie Lamont, Squarespace - 3/16
    public reaction: 1.8k likes
    impact on whistleblower: PTSD
    impact on organization: null
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  74. Susan J. Fowler
    @susanthesquark
    Uber
    2/17
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  75. whistleblow
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  76. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  77. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  78. “On my first official day rotating on the team, my
    new manager sent me a string of messages
    over company chat. […] He was trying to stay
    out of trouble at work, he said, but he couldn't
    help getting in trouble, because he was looking
    for women to have sex with.”
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  79. “When I reported the situation, I was told by
    both HR and upper management that even
    though this was clearly sexual harassment […],
    it was this man's first offense, and that they
    wouldn't feel comfortable giving him anything
    other than a warning and a stern talking-to. […]
    He ‘was a high performer.’”
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  80. public reaction
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  81. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  82. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  83. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  84. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  85. #deleteUber
    > 30,000,000 impressions
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  86. impact on
    whistleblower
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  87. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  88. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  89. impact on
    organization
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  90. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  91. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  92. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  93. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  94. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  95. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  96. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  97. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  98. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  99. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  100. whistleblow: Susan J. Fowler, Uber - 2/17
    public reaction: 11k likes (blog)

    30k RTs, 20k likes (twitter)

    front page national news

    #deleteUber > 3,000,000 impr.
    impact on whistleblower: threat of retaliation
    impact on organization: over 9000
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  101. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin
    sexual harassment
    microaggressions
    overt racism
    systemic gender based discrimination (salary,
    career opportunities, and advancement)
    ignored by HR
    retaliation and/or threats from manager after
    documenting discrimination

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  102. what was different?
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  103. she was a published author
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  104. she was a published author
    she documented everything
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  105. she was a published author
    she documented everything
    everyone already hated uber
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  106. she was a published author
    she documented everything
    everyone already hated uber
    she is white
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  107. she was a published author
    she documented everything
    everyone already hated uber
    she is white
    post 45
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  108. she was a published author
    she documented everything
    everyone already hated uber
    she is white
    post 45
    others came before her and helped pave the way
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  109. #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  110. should YOU
    whistleblow?
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  111. maybe, and carefully
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  112. what can WE do?
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  113. vote with your dollar
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  114. share their stories
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  115. foster inclusive
    spaces
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  116. use your privilege to
    call this out
    #notjustuber #codeshare @alexqin

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  117. Not just Uber
    @alexqin
    #notjustuber
    #codeshare

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