Uber's sexual misconduct troubles went public last year after a former engineering employee, Susan Fowler, put up a blog post alleging she was sexually harassed at the company and that HR and senior management ignored her complaints.
Uber vowed to commit to a cultural overhaul in response. It even expanded what it called its diversity team to rid the company of what appeared to be a work environment that tolerated sexual misconduct.
While Uber has been a sort of poster child for Silicon Valley's general harassment problem (which the company has taken many steps to fix), the very structure of HR overall could accidentally serve as a blockade rather than enable employees to come forward with their problems. A good HR leader has to have empathy and listening skills — and a company should be sure to take note of employees who express such qualities.