Blue Origin Former and Current Employees Call Out Company's Toxic Work Environment

From gender discrimination to indifference about sustainability and negative impacts on mental health.

Tech
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In light of the recent successful flights from Jeff BezosBlue Origin, a collective of former and current employees have now published an open letter exposing a series of pressing issues that create a toxic work environment at the company.

The letter began by highlighting the lack of diversity within Blue Origin’s ranks, pointing out that of the 3,600 or so people currently employed there, most are male and “overwhelmingly white.” While the group acknowledges that gender gaps are common within the space industry, they also emphasize that 100% of senior technical and program leaders are men and that gender discrimination within the company has become a culture there, with numerous cases of sexual misconduct reported among senior staff.

Gender discrimination aside, the letter also underlined the company’s failure to limit its own carbon footprint despite promoting space exploration due to the Earth suffering from climate change and pollution. In some occasions, machinery would arrive at the factory before the company even began considering its environmental impact and whether they needed a permit to manage its waste.

Finally, the letter turned towards a company structure that seeks to silence dissent and pays very little attention to the safety of its operations. Aside from being grossly underworked, employees were also often discouraged from voicing concerns over projects. The focus of the company was mainly to reduce costs without giving much thought to ensuring the safety of its vehicles. One of those who signed the letter even said that “Blue Origin has been lucky that nothing has happened so far,” and most in the collective wouldn’t trust riding Blue Origin planes.

“In our experience, Blue Origin’s culture sits on a foundation that ignores the plight of our planet, turns a blind eye to sexism, is not sufficiently attuned to safety concerns, and silences those who seek to correct wrongs,” the letter concluded. “That’s not the world we should be creating here on Earth, and certainly not as our springboard to a better one.”

For those interested in the full letter, you can head over to Lioness.co.

Elsewhere in the tech industry, a leaked Facebook study has confirmed connections of negative mental health with celebrity Instagram content.

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