Below is an article originally written by PowerToFly Partner Uber, and published on August 29, 2018. Go to Uber's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
Bo Young Lee is dedicating herself to making everyone heard at Uber because she knows what it feels like to be a fish out of water. As Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, she's working to create a culture where every person is capable of achieving their full potential. Although Bo is relatively new to Uber, she has been helping companies move forward for decades.
"I'm bilingual, but not in the traditional sense," says Bo. "My personal background and my professional experience have put me in a place where I can advocate for others while working shoulder to shoulder with people who have traditionally benefited from historical power structures."
Bo studied management consulting at the University of Michigan, seemingly working toward a traditional career in business, but it was her penchant for practicing yoga and veganism that made her stand out.
"Finance was a bro culture before tech had one," Bo says. "I recognized that the environment wasn't made for people like me, so I surprised all my professors by going into nonprofit work to advocate for others. Now this topic of diversity and inclusion is roiling companies. I realize I was just a bit ahead of the curve—and this is a relatively new conversation for tech companies."
At Uber, Bo views the conversation as a way to fundamentally recognize how companies naturally structure themselves into a hierarchy, and as a way to recognize and support employees so that everyone who works at Uber can be their full, authentic selves.
Internally, the company is making progress, having created a Diversity Advisory Council to address diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives. The council is made up of employees and industry leaders, all of whom offer their perspectives and guidance on both strategy and specific changes to implement. Uber also has Employee Resource Groups—support and inclusion groups for employees of all backgrounds and beliefs that have executive team sponsors for more visibility and support.
In addition, last year Uber announced a fund to support organizations that work to bring more women and underrepresented people into tech, including BUILD, Code.org, Girls Who Code, Iridescent, and SMASH.
But to really move Uber forward, Bo says, the company has to make good choices and recognize that great work and ideas can come from every individual. When Bo started her career, she wasn't the typical business student or finance worker, and now that diversity is an important conversation for a lot of industries, her experiences and background can set up others for success.
"We tend to think of diversity in very categorical terms—gay, straight, men, women, race, religion, and so on. I want to expand that view. I'm a very multilayered individual—I'm female, I'm a first-generation immigrant from Korea, I grew up in New York, went to school in Michigan, and now I'm working for a Silicon Valley tech company," Bo says. "And a lot of people have backgrounds that are just as complex. But if we're going to create a service that provides transportation to the world, we need to create an internal culture that reflects the diversity of the world."
Below is an article originally written by PowerToFly Partner Uber, and published on August 6, 2018. Go to Uber's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
When Lara started at Uber in late 2016 as a recruiter for the Data Science team, she didn't expect that her passion for diversity and inclusion would become such a critical element in helping Uber move forward.
As Lara spent more time at Uber, she saw opportunities to create change that went beyond her day-to-day recruiting duties. She became deeply involved with our Diversity and Inclusion team and our Pride Employee Resource Group, and she worked to bring more support to Uber's LGBTQ+ employees and the communities we serve.
"I saw a stark difference between how Uber was portrayed in the headlines and what I experienced first-hand working with passionate, wonderful, and positive humans," she says. "I wanted to create a positive impact and change for people at Uber—and the people who come into contact with Uber as a company."
That passion has led to her new role as a Retention and Inclusion Program Manager—making it her focus to create programs that help employees feel welcomed at Uber, to shed light on issues that minority groups face (both internally and externally), and to enable others to have a voice and create change.
Drawing on a strong support network and activities that keep her physically active, including yoga and challenging outdoor excursions (hiking base camp at Mount Everest is on her bucket list), Lara is inspired to give back and help others feel equally as inspired to contribute and make change at Uber.
By helping others be seen and heard, Lara and the employees who contribute to Diversity and Inclusion initiatives embody and inspire Uber's Moving Forward initiative—culturally as well as for riders and drivers.
From a company perspective, Lara and her colleagues have served as advisers not only on cultural awareness but to Uber's business as well—making sure that Uber itself is mindful of how its decisions and partnerships affect LGBTQ+ and other minority communities. In the past year, Uber has made significant changes in leadership and how the company operates, but employees such as Lara and the efforts to improve diversity and inclusion show that every individual can have an impact as Uber charts its new course.