With a resurgence of cases, it can feel that our collective attention has moved back to the COVID-19 pandemic and away from the issue of race and inequality, even though those topics are inextricably linked. That’s why I believe it’s all the more important we do more now. While we won’t see results immediately, we cannot let the issue of racism and systemic inequality fade from our minds or actions.
Since we stood in solidarity with the Black community last month, we have spent considerable time reflecting internally with employees and externally with experts about where we are today and what more we can do.
You’re probably thinking that Uber is not exactly the company you’d expect to be speaking up on this front. But after a lot of reflection and change over the last few years, we continue to challenge ourselves to be a different and better company.
We’ve tied compensation for key senior executives to diversity metrics and have been actively measuring our salary data to achieve pay equity. We have more diversity on our leadership team and board than many other Fortune 500 companies. Yet Black representation and opportunity at Uber is not where we want it to be, especially on our technical teams and in leadership. We have a clear-cut anti-discrimination policy and unambiguous community guidelines for everyone who uses our apps. Yet we still receive unacceptable reports of racism from both Uber riders and drivers.
We must do more. As a company that powers movement, it’s our goal to ensure everyone can move freely and safely, whether physically, economically or socially. To do that, we must help fight the racism that persists across society and be a champion for equity, both inside and outside our company.
One thing is clear to us: we can’t just hope that our products alone will improve equity and fairness. We must use our global breadth, our technology, and our data to help make change, faster—so that we become a more actively anti-racist company; a safer, more inclusive company and platform; and a faithful ally to all the communities we serve.
That’s why today, we’re making several new, long-term commitments to drive this work forward:
Ridding Our Platform of Racism
- No commitment, no ride: Our Community Guidelines explicitly prohibit racist behavior and we will continue to ensure that everyone using our platform understands what’s expected when using our apps and commits to the rules.
- Anti-racism education for riders and drivers: Together with experts, we will develop new anti-racism and unconscious bias training for drivers and riders, starting in the US and Canada.
- Specialized customer support: We will offer our customer support agents specialized training on bias and discrimination, and commit to improving our apps to make it simpler and easier for anyone to report discrimination issues to us.
Fighting Racism with Technology
- Inclusive product design: We will create a new dedicated Inclusivity and Accessibility Product Lead role to help design and build products that are inclusive and meet the needs of our customers, no matter your race, gender, age, or ability.
- Marketplace fairness: We will formalize and expand our internal Fairness Working Group of data scientists, product managers, and operations leaders to advise on how to build products that take into account issues of fairness and equity.
- Diverse teams for diverse customers: We will further expand the pipeline of Black and other underrepresented technical workers by broadening our internship and fellowship programs in partnership with global NGOs.
Sustaining Equity and Belonging for All
- Pay equity, full stop: Three years ago, we analyzed our salary data and made adjustments to achieve pay equity on the basis of race and gender. We will continue to focus on maintaining this important measure of equity going forward.
- Double Black representation in leadership: We plan to double Black representation in leadership by 2025 through pipeline development and hiring. We define leadership as those with Director titles and above, representing the five most senior levels at Uber.
- Transparency on our progress: We will continue to publish an annual Diversity Report and expand it to include data on intersectionality and self-identification.
- Double the talent pipeline: We want to create pathways for drivers, delivery people and Uber customer support staff, many of whom are people of color, to advance their careers. We’ll aim to double the pipeline of people who want to pursue corporate or other opportunities with Uber by 2025.
- Training on cross-cultural management: We understand it’s our responsibility as an organization to help individuals manage inclusively. We will offer training to all Uber managers on inclusive management and cross-cultural competency.
Driving Equity in the Community
- $10M to support Black-owned businesses: In addition to previously committing $1M to the Equal Justice Initiative and Center for Policing Equity, we will commit to a $10M investment over the next two years to advance the success of Black-owned small businesses by driving demand via promotions and other merchant support.
- $0 Delivery for Black-owned restaurants: In addition to extending the $0 delivery fee for Black-owned restaurants for all of 2020, we are taking steps to more effectively identify and highlight the diversity of restaurants on our platform, including Black-owned restaurants, permanently.
- Double supplier spend with Black-owned businesses: We will strengthen and expand our supplier diversity program with the goal of doubling spending with Black-owned businesses and contractors.
I’m optimistic these actions will go a long way towards ensuring that everyone who works at or with Uber will be treated equally and feel like they belong. But today is just one day: it is more important that we follow through, even after it feels like the outrage has cooled and business as usual has returned. I therefore ask you to hold us, and every organization pledging change, accountable for every step we take along the way.