Uber puts Asian diversity chief on leave over 'Don't Call Me Karen' sessions exploring 'white women's experience'

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Uber’s Chief Diversity Equity and Inclusion Officer, Bo Young Lee, was recently placed on leave after she moderated an event for employees titled “Don’t Call Me Karen,” which employees complained was “triggering.”

The New York Times reports that Uber’s chief people officer, Nikki Krishnamurthy, and chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, sent an email Thursday to staff and announced they had asked Young “to step back and take a leave of absence while we determine next steps.”

The first “Don’t Call Me Karen” session happened in April and was billed as an opportunity to explore “the ‘Karen persona'” and dive “into the spectrum of the American white woman’s experience.” The second session took place via Zoom last week.

Lee, who started working for Uber in 2018, arranged the sessions to foster an “open and honest conversation about race.”

Uber workers, including those from a “Black at Uber” group, complained about the sessions with one black employee saying they were “tone-deaf, offensive and triggering.”

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