As hard as it is to believe now, on Feb. 19, when Susan Fowler published a lengthy personal blog post about being discriminated against and harassed at Uber, it initially seemed like the company would be able to quickly address the allegations and move on.

At the time, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick released a statement saying, “what she describes is abhorrent and against everything Uber stands for and believes in.” He also said that Fowler’s post was the first time he’d heard these allegations. A few days later, though, female employees at Uber told Kalanick that the company had a “systemic” problem with harassment — a charge later denied by board member Arianna Huffington when she told CNN that Uber did not have a “systemic problem” with sexism and harassment. It seemed then like Uber was going to adhere to the old Silicon Valley playbook: try to portray the problem as an isolated incident and deny the need for broader change.

Of course, Fowler’s post ultimately led to more than 200 women coming forward with their own allegations, an investigation into Uber’s culture led by former attorney general Eric Holder, and Kalanick’s resignation. But for a time, the reckoning at Uber didn’t necessarily portend a broader shift in tech. It seemed like the narrative was that Kalanick was a “bad boy,” and Uber was just a company gone awry; it didn’t seem like others were taking a hard look at themselves. After all, the industry has long had a reputation as a boys’ club — venture capital is predominantly male, startups’ boards are predominantly male, and startup employees,…

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