The reform quest of Uber about its behavior now includes donations to good purposes. The ridesharing company has promised to donate 5 million U.S dollars over 5 years to organizations that help prevent sexual assault and domestic violence. The first round of pledges will go to groups like A Call to Men, the National Network to End Domestic Violence and “NO MORE” with a focus on tackling critical funding gaps in marginalized communities. Uber has had a reputation for pervasive sexism in its ranks and problems with drivers perpetrating everything from harassment to rape, and this might improve its image. It’s also well-timed decision: the Harvey Weinstein scandal has spurred many people to come forward with stories of sexual assault and harassment.
Uber may not need to stay silent and reinforce notions that it’s deaf to these concerns. At the same time, it reflects Uber’s attempts to repair its underlying culture, specifically since Travis Kalanick stepped down. The company has taken multiple tangible steps to address sexism, harassment, and assault, including awareness training for executives and customer support reps as well as hires intended specifically to fix its toxic culture. In past years, the pledge would have been seen as insincere at best. Now, it at least reflects what Uber would like to do — even if there’s still a lot of work left to do.