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Diversity Probably Not Job 1 at Yahoo, Other Tech Firms

Diversity Probably Not Job 1 at Yahoo, Other Tech Firms
By Linda Rosencrance

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Workforce diversity numbers released today by Yahoo show that like Google and LinkedIn, white and Asian males dominate. But its diversity statistics only tell part of the story. Yahoo said it works to ensure that its existing employees feel welcome and supported during their time at the company.
 


Following disclosures on diversity in the workplace from Google and LinkedIn, Yahoo on Tuesday served up some data around the diversity of its workforce.

Approximately 37 percent of Yahoo’s 12,000 workers worldwide are women, and only 23 percent of leadership -- vice presidents and above -- are women, Yahoo said in a blog post. Yahoo is, in fact, headed up by a woman, Marissa Mayer, a former Google exec.

Currently, fifty percent of Yahoo’s workforce are white, 39 percent are Asian, 4 percent Hispanic, 2 percent black and 4 percent undisclosed or more than one race. Although Yahoo did not offer any insights into its stats, the company said its goal is to attract and retain a diverse workforce as well as help its employees develop to their full potential.

Numbers Just Part of Story

“We’re in the business of building products for hundreds of millions of users worldwide and that starts with having the best possible talent -- a Yahoo team that understands and reflects our diverse user base,” said Jackie Reses, Yahoo’s chief development officer, in the post. “These statistics are only part of the story -- Yahoo works to ensure that our existing employees feel welcome and supported during their time at the company.”

To that end, Yahoo has a wide range of Employee Resource Groups that serve people of diverse backgrounds. For example, Yahoo received a 100 percent Corporate Equality Index score and was named a “Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality,” she said.

Yahoo Joins Elite Club

Late last month, Google was the first Silicon Valley tech company to shine a light on the gender and racial breakdown of its workforce. The search giant released the data after Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. stood up at its annual shareholder meeting urging Google to disclose its numbers.

So how diverse is Google? Not very. Just 2 percent of its 44,000 employees are black, 3 percent are Hispanic, and 30 percent are women -- these statistics are based on the number of people Google employed at the beginning of the year. Overall, 70 percent of Google employees are male, and 91 percent of U.S. employees are either white or Asian. As to Google's leadership: 79 percent are men, while 72 percent are white.

Then, last week, LinkedIn disclosed its diversity figures. However, LinkedIn also released the demographic report it provides to the federal government. About 61 percent of LinkedIn’s 5,400 employees worldwide are men and 39 percent are women. In the U.S., 53 percent of its employees are white, 38 percent are Asian, 4 percent Hispanic and 2 percent black.

“Over the past few years, we've experienced tremendous growth and have become a truly global company, but in terms of overall diversity, we have some work to do,” Pat Wadors, LinkedIn’s vice president of global talent, said in a statement at the time.

LinkedIn and Google said they are partnering with organizations to hire more minorities. LinkedIn is working with Year Up, a training program for young adults in low-income areas, and the Anita Borg Institute, which promotes programs to encourage women to become involved in building technology.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Deborah:

Posted: 2014-06-19 @ 7:21am PT
@Peter: I agree with you that it shouldn't matter if there are more men than women in tech firms. And yes, different fields are dominated more by men, others more by women. I'm not sure why you say though that women just look for shortcuts all the time. Really everyone should look for shortcuts in terms of working smarter, not harder. That's not to say that women, or men, or any one group deserves to 'cut the line' to move up quicker. Everyone needs to pay their dues and those who earn it should advance and make more money over time based on ability and the contribution they can make to their organization.

Peter:

Posted: 2014-06-19 @ 3:10am PT
Who cares if there are more men than women in tech firms? Men are more interested in computers. Naturally if there are more men in tech, the leadership will also be dominated by men. Women just look for short cuts all the time. I don't see them calling for diversity in sectors they dominate such as HR, cabin crew, primary schools etc. Hypocrites.



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