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Tags: uber | karen | diversity

Uber Suspends Head of Diversity After 'Karen' Talks

By    |   Monday, 22 May 2023 12:35 PM EDT

Uber reportedly put its head of diversity, equity and inclusion on a leave of absence after employees complained about two "Don't Call Me Karen" events that focused on white women's experiences.

According to the New York Times, Bo Young Lee, the ride-hailing company's head of diversity, is on leave pending Uber's "next steps."

The events, one last month and another on May 17, were billed as "diving into the spectrum of the American white woman's experience" and hearing from white women who work at Uber, with a focus on "the 'Karen' persona."

They were intended to be an "open and honest conversation about race," according to the invitation, the Times reported.

Both events — part of a series of company racial discussions that started in 2020 — got a drubbing in company Slack channels for Black and Hispanic employees.

According to the Times, workers felt the event organizers were minimizing racism and the harm white people can inflict on people of color by focusing on how "Karen" is a hurtful word.

After the first "Don't Call Me Karen" talk in April, a Black woman asked how to avoid "tone-deaf, offensive, and triggering conversations" from occurring in diversity initiatives at a company meeting, the Times reported.

Lee reportedly responded the point of the series was to prompt uncomfortable conversations and to move workers out of their "strategic ignorance."

She later hosted a second "Don't Call Me Karen" session to revisit the subject — after which some employees said they felt lectured, the Times reported.

"I felt like I was being scolded for the entirety of that meeting," one employee wrote, the news outlet reported.

"I think when people are called Karens it's implied that this is someone that has little empathy to others or is bothered by minorities others that don't look like them. Like, why can't bad behavior not be called out?"

The Times reported that by referring to "Karen" as a hurtful term, Uber workers felt the diversity team was minimizing racism by white people.

"We have heard that many of you are in pain and upset by yesterday's Moving Forward session," the company said in an email to employees. "While it was meant to be a dialogue, it's obvious that those who attended did not feel heard."

The Times reported workers greeted news Lee was stepping away as a sign Uber's top brass were taking their complaints seriously.

One employee wrote Uber execs "have heard us, they know we are hurting, and they want to understand what all happened too," the outlet reported.

Fran Beyer

Fran Beyer is a writer with Newsmax and covers national politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Uber reportedly put its head of diversity, equity and inclusion on a leave of absence after employees complained about two "Don't Call Me Karen" events that focused on white women's experiences.
uber, karen, diversity
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2023-35-22
Monday, 22 May 2023 12:35 PM
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