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Uber, Twitter's legal eagles gather to wring claws about bro culture

Time to expand the brocabulary

By Kat Hall, 20 Jul 2017

Lawyers from Uber and Twitter spoke about ways to curb "bro culture" in the male-dominated world of Silicon Valley at an annual judicial conference this week.

Salle Yoo, Uber’s chief legal officer, told the Ninth Circuit’s judicial conference in San Francisco that it is important to hire diverse teams, reported Law360.

Uber has been at the centre of the debate around sexism in Silicon Valley. It did not help that one of the company’s board members was recently forced to resign from Uber’s board of directors after making a sexist remark during an all-staff meeting about reforming the company’s culture. That meeting was itself prompted by accusations of rampant sexism and harassment at the company.

Yoo said the audience may have heard about “a few issues” at Uber, but said the scandals had brought about change and empowered the legal department.

She said: “I feel strongly that this is a period of opportunity for Uber,” Yoo said Wednesday. “My ability to get change implemented has increased in the past few months, which is a really good place to be.”

Twitter General Counsel Vijaya Gadde said that lack of diversity is a vicious cycle and discourages women from advancing in their fields.

“They’re withdrawing from the process, because they’ll walk into the room and the interview panel is all men,” she said.

Gadde also patted her client on the back for deciding not to change its user privacy settings or restrict speech in order to enter the markets in North Korea, Iran and China.

“We had to ask ourselves: are we willing to do the types of things we need to do to be unblocked?” she said. “We decided we shouldn’t include countries where we can’t operate with integrity.” ®

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