Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Accused Of Toxic, Sexist Work Culture By Over 20 Employees
All those working in firms, agencies, companies, etc. will agree with me when I say that your workplace culture is of utmost importance. I mean, we all need an environment and culture that is conducive to productivity while taking care of our mental health and stress levels, and making us feel secure. But nowadays, many companies are so indifferent and ignorant towards their workplace culture that they don’t realize how toxic the environment becomes for their workers. And this toxic workplace culture is damaging not just to the mental but also the physical being of employees. In fact, when the deadlines are close and they are in a race to achieve targets, companies often neglect their employees and are blinded by the chase. Recently, an open letter written by former and current employees of Blue Origin has accused the company owned by Jeff Bezos of creating a toxic and sexist work culture.
On Thursday, 21 of Blue Origin employees—former and current—wrote an open letter and accused Jeff Bezos and the company Blue Origin of not only disregarding safety measures to win the space race but also creating a work culture that was toxic as well as sexist in nature. In fact, the former head of Blue Origin employee communications, Alexandra Abrams wrote in along with the other anonymous employees that “Competing with other billionaires—and ‘making progress for Jeff”—seemed to take precedence over safety concerns that would have slowed down the schedule.”
The letter openly accuses the founder of Blue Origin of nurturing a culture that reeked of sexism. The letter also stated that the concerns of employees regarding the safety of Blue Origin’s rockets were suppressed and unheard because Jeff Bezos was in a hurry to surpass Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, and Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Galactic, in the space race.
The open letter was sent to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and as a response to it, one of the spokesperson of FAA said that the allegations raised against Jeff Bezos are being taken seriously and they are reviewing the information revealed in it. Surprisingly, the letter even stated that many of the current employees of Blue Origin would not opt to fly in the space vehicle created by the company since they wouldn’t feel safe in doing so.
And the reason why many of the Blue Origin employees wouldn’t feel safe traveling in the space rockets is that they believe that the company has not followed the proper safety measures and even have pushed its employees to their limits in order to compete in the space race.
According to Business Insider, many of the employees who have signed the open letter have chosen to stay anonymous and their privacy has been protected. And this is because they have signed nondisclosure and non-disparagement agreements as they are fearful for their safety that might be in danger due to the retaliation of Blue Origin and Jeff Bezos.
Alexandra Abrams, a former employee of Blue Origin, said in an interview that over 1000 safety concerns with the rockets were documented by one team in 2018. But when she took those concerns to the leadership she was told the person did not have a “high-enough risk tolerance.” In fact, it was in 2018 itself that her employment was terminated as executives hired by Jeff Bezos felt that she was no longer trustworthy.
Also Read: Businessman Harsh Goenka’s Tweet On Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos’ Divorces And Alimony Is Sexist, And Twitter’s Calling It Out
The open letter that accused Jeff Bezos and the company of disregarding safety measures also accused many executives of derogatory behaviour and oppressing women employees at Blue Origin. It gave an instance of how one man close to Jeff Bezos and CEO Bob Smith was promoted even though there were sexual harassment allegations against him.
The letter by former and current Blue Origin employees stated, “Many of us have spent our careers dreaming of helping to launch a crewed rocket into space and seeing it safely touch back down on Earth… But when Jeff Bezos flew to space this July, we did not share his elation. Instead, many of us watched with an overwhelming sense of unease. Some of us couldn’t bear to watch at all.” It further said, “If this company’s culture and work environment are a template for the future Jeff Bezos envisions, we are headed in a direction that reflects the worst of the world we live in now, and sorely needs to change.”
Just like how Jeff Bezos and Blue Origin many companies are blinded to the truth that their employees are their real asset. That it is the employees that are churning out work and putting in their resources to get you the result that you want. Companies fail to realize that if their employees are happy and given a comfortable, secure environment to grow in, they can conquer any frontier for you. But if you put them in a toxic or sexist environment, the loss will ultimately be yours.