Tina M. Tchen profiled by Refinery29 in interview, “Exclusive: Tina Tchen, Uber’s newest advisor, on the challenges of sexual assault reporting”
Tina M. Tchen was profiled on May 21, 2018 by Refinery29 in an interview, “Exclusive: Tina Tchen, Uber’s newest advisor, on the challenges of sexual assault reporting,” where she discussed her involvement with Uber’s initiative to introduce greater transparency around how it deals with cases of sexual assault.
How did you become involved with Uber as an advisor?
After I left the White House last year, and after some time off, I joined the law firm Buckley Sandler. We started a new practice area, called Workplace Cultural Compliance, that was really born out of what I saw when I was in the White House, which is that companies would come to us as we worked our Working Families agenda in the Obama administration and they really wanted to do the right thing around diversity and equity but didn’t know how to do it or have the tools. I have thought for a long time that there is a practice there to help companies do better, so we started it at Buckley Sandler. It’s been growing in the current environment. We started it before recent events, and those have only fueled companies interests not just in sexual harassment, but in overall equity and diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In that capacity, Uber invited me to speak and keynote a women in travel and safety event that they held. I spoke there, as I often do, about how these issues of sexual harassment and sexual assault are key for the travel and hospitality industry because women make over 80% of the purchasing decisions in that industry and yet they are also often making decisions around what’s a safe hotel and what’s a safe route to and from where I’m going. The industry needs to understand that — that there’s both a business opportunity there but also a real business risk. Uber’s business is to do all the things that our mothers told us not to do. Get in a car with a stranger and if you’re a driver, pick up a stranger on the street. If it’s not something that people are comfortable with doing, it’s a real business risk. But it’s intrinsically tied to equity and diversity. You can’t look at those issues in isolation. You can’t expect to understand what women travelers are thinking about if you don’t have any women around the table helping you think about those issues and bringing that perspective. Tony West, Uber's Chief Legal Officer, [below] and I are friends. We worked together in the Obama administration on a lot of these issues. Tony asked me and my firm to come in and provide legal advice to Uber on this whole suite of issues on women and diversity.