Do you want to apply to Blue Origin, even if it means going through interviews lasting several hours? We advise you to think carefully before taking the plunge into New Space. About twenty employees of Blue Origin, former and current, tell in an essay how, according to them, the management of the firm has made it a particularly toxic work environment.
We discover that Jeff Bezos’ firm completely ignores issues like sexism and harassment, cares little about diversity in the workforce, and seems to have no other goal than to stay in the New Space race – even if it does. means staying de facto light years away from SpaceX. Thus constructive safety remarks would often be ignored, especially if they come from women.
Employees share how Blue Origin is a toxic work environment
We read in the essay that some leaders of the company “Have distinguished themselves by constantly adopting inappropriate attitudes towards women”. Behaviors that have been repeatedly reported to the human resources department. Another ex-manager is said to have been condescending on numerous occasions towards women, and would have asked inappropriate questions of certain employees, in particular about their personal life.
The manager remained in post despite these returns – Blue Origin was in fact only resolved to fire him after learning that he had touched an employee under his responsibility. The manager in question had, according to Blue Origin employees, a personal relationship with Jeff Bezos. Which seems to have protected him. The authors of the trial explain “We realized that many leaders were inaccessible, and clearly adopted misogynistic behaviors”.
And the employees to continue: “Concerns around New Shepard robberies were systematically hushed up, and women were demeaned when it was they who raised them.” They detail several instances in which employees were treated differently from female employees. For example, after his dismissal, a Blue Origin employee was entitled to a severance package. While in a similar case, an employee was asked to leave the premises immediately.
Employees go on to criticize the lack of diversity of the Blue Origin team: “The wage bill which must establish this future ‘for all’ is mainly made up of white and male employees. 100% of technical managers and program managers are men ”, they point out. Another criticism: the little regard that those in charge of Blue Origin make of the environmental question.
Employees report that the firm has not prepared or implemented “Concrete plan to become neutral in terms of carbon emissions or at least significantly reduce its enormous carbon footprint”. The authors also explain that any attempt at unionism is stifled. Protocols have even been put in place to prevent employees from asking awkward questions during Town Hall internal meetings which bring together all Blue Origin employees.
The names of potential “agitators” are placed on a list, which exposes them to “having discussions” with their superiors. The authors go on to explain that ultimately, at Blue Origin, the only thing that matters is “To compete with other billionaires and move the business forward for Jeff – even if that means putting aside security concerns that could slow down the schedule.”
Blue Origin employees conclude: “What we are seeing is that Blue Origin’s culture is built on foundations that ignore the state of our planet, overlook sexism, fail to adequately address security imperatives, and reduce silence those who seek to correct the problems. This is not what we should be doing here on Earth, and it is certainly not what will serve as a springboard for us to move towards a better world ”.
In response to these shocking statements, Blue Origin forwarded the following statement to our colleagues at Engadget: “Ms. Abrahms was fired for serious cause after several alerts involving issues around federal export rules. Blue Origin has no tolerance for discrimination or harassment in any form. We provide numerous remedies for employees, including an anonymous hotline available 24/7, and we will investigate any new complaints about inappropriate behavior ”.