Uber Is Closing Its Gender Pay Gap, Report Says

The ride-hailing company is taking a big step to address criticism of its corporate culture.

byStephen Edelstein| PUBLISHED Jul 20, 2017 1:02 PM
Uber Is Closing Its Gender Pay Gap, Report Says

After a sexual harassment scandal that helped contribute to the ouster of CEO Travis Kalanick, Uber is poised to take a major step toward addressing discrimination, according to a new report. Uber plans to equalize pay between men and women and between white and minority employees, according to The Information, which cites anonymous sources familiar with the matter. The changes will go into effect August 1.

The pay restructuring will raise the salary of employees paid less than the median salary for their position to that median level. Uber also plans to raise the median salary for all employees in technical jobs by 10 percent. Employees in this sector who have salaries above the new median will receive a 5 percent pay increase, unless they have worked at Uber for three years or more.

Equalizing pay could help repair Uber's public image. The ride-sharing company has struggled with multiple scandals since the beginning of this year, including accusations from a former female employee that sexual harassment had been tolerated by Uber management. An independent report commissioned to investigate these claims recommended changes in leadership; shortly after it was published, CEO Kalanick stepped down.

Closing the pay gap would help combat the public view of Uber as a company that tolerates discrimination, but Uber has a long way to go. Like most Silicon Valley tech companies, its leadership is mostly white and male. Uber also continues to face other high-profile scandals, involving alleged underpaying of drivers and an ongoing legal battle with Waymo over self-driving car trade secrets.

At the same time, Uber's business is taking a hit. It remains the largest ride-sharing operator in the United States, but rival Lyft is surfing the wave of bad Uber publicity to catch up. Uber also remains the only ride-sharing company with a truly global reach, but its expansion into other countries has hit roadblocks. European lawmakers are considering whether Uber should be regulated as a taxi service, and the company recently sold its Russian operations to local tech giant Yandex.