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Analysis Of The Case Study “Uber’s Employee Put Women At A Disadvantage, Suit Says”

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The case study “Uber’s Employee Put Women at a Disadvantage, Suit Says” written by Rebecca Greenfield and Jeff Green. The case study is about the ranking system named stack ranking which is used to evaluate employee’s performance in a company and its adverse effects on women employees.

In this case study they are discussing how to assess and promote workers. At Uber, they used a practice known as Stack Ranking which is a zero sum evaluation that pits employees each other. Roxana Del Toro Lopez, an engineer file is suit that stack ranking unfairly and disproportionately hurt women. The famous companies like Microsoft Corporation, Goldman Sachs group Incorporation have already faced such legal challenges. Recently the Uber have abandoned the stack ranking.

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According to the survey conducted by the research firm CEB Incorporation, almost one – third of the Fortune thousand companies are still using stack ranking. This practice measure employees against one another, so the managers are able to rate the people with similar skills even if their performance are equal. At Uber, women’s are regularly go penalized by the system which resulted in low pay and fewer promotions. Jahan Sagafi, a lawyer also claim that this practice forces managers to make artificial distinctions between employees.

The Uber always decline to comment on lawsuit. The company now uses feedback method for performance evaluation instead of ranking and rating employees. Also they surveyed their employees about their likes and dislikes of the old system. Many of the comments were the rating were two subjective and asked for more feedback. Some researchers have found that stack rankings plays to managers unconscious and conscious biases.

Paola Cecchi-Dimeglio, a senior research faculty at Harvard law school, found that women’s are 1.4 times more likely than men to get feedback in highly subjective categories. Also there is a lot of bias in the system more than in the people.

In 2015 lawsuit against Microsoft alleged that these type of ranking practices under value female technical employees relative to their male colleagues. In 2010 lawsuit against Goldman Sachs also faulted the process, pointing that male managers usually favor male employees and also always placed them in top rank performers. . Also Microsoft claim that they disagree the contents in the lawsuit because the information’s are mischaracterized.

Beth Steinberg an HR in tech companies says that the biases in the system unfold in the real time. In organizations if leaders and managers are male there is a chance to fight for other men. But in organizations like Hewlett Packard, they changed the performance evaluation system and it result no more competition among men and women.

In last few years around 6% of Fortune 500 companies have abandoned stack ranking and replaced employee ranking, rating and reviews with regular feedback. If the performance evaluation are biased it will results reduction in women’s compensation. So the pay for performance system should be fundamentally flawed.


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