Google’s 2017 diversity report, released last week, expands on the information included in previous reports to cover the retention and attrition of underrepresented talent, as well as an intersectional analysis of race and gender at Google. Overall diversity figures were little changed from last year’s report and showed limited progress since 2014, when Google first began making this data public. Men make up 69.1 percent of the tech giant’s workforce, while its racial makeup is 53.1 percent white, 36.3 percent Asian, 2.5 percent black, 3.6 percent Hispanic or Latinx, and 4.2 percent multiracial. In 2014, the Googler community was 61.3 percent white, 30 percent Asian, 1.9 percent black, 2.9 percent Hispanic/Latinx, and 3.6 percent multiracial.
The company has made some progress in improving the gender balance of its leadership over the past four years, with its the percentage of women in leadership globally rising from 20.8 to 25.5 percent. Google’s US leadership is 66.9 percent white, 26.3 percent Asian, 2 percent black, 1.8 percent Latinx, 0.4 percent Native American, and 2.7 percent of more than one race. Black and Latinx representation in leadership have improved slightly since 2014, while the report highlights that 5.4 percent of new leadership hires in 2017 were black.
The attrition data included in this report touches on an issue that tech companies struggling with diversity and inclusion have discovered to be of critical importance: not just recruiting diverse candidates but also retaining those employees for the long term. Based on an index of US attrition, Google’s report shows that attrition rates are highest among black and Latinx employees, at 127 and 115 compared to an overall index of 100. “Black Googler attrition rates, while improving in recent years, have offset some of our hiring gains,” Google acknowledges, “which has led to smaller increases in representation than we would have seen otherwise.” On a global index, attrition was slightly higher for men than for women, however, at 103 compared to 94.
Screencap of Dear Tech People's Rankings
“Most of us agree that tech could be a little more diverse,” says the homepage of Dear Tech People, a project that uses diversity data scraped from LinkedIn to provide approximate diversity figures for a specially selected group of 100 American technology and online media companies. The initiative, launched by three graduates of the University of Pennsylvania, seeks to help improve the visibility of the industry’s diversity problem. The site ranks companies based on the combined gender and racial diversity of their workforce, leadership, and technical staff.
While several high-profile tech companies have publicly released their diversity data on an annual basis over the past few years, Dear Tech People helps provide greater transparency by charting diversity across a broader segment of the industry.
“Our belief is that while the LinkedIn data isn’t perfect, it’s the best data available, and some data transparency is infinitely better than the opaque state of diversity numbers right now,” Adina Luo, one of the site’s co-founders, told Fast Company. Luo and her two other co-founders all have full-time jobs and are working on this initiative on the side. For companies that self-report their diversity figures, Dear Tech People offers verified partnerships, which allow them to signal to candidates that they are committed to diversity. The site also advertises a pipeline analytics tool and benchmarking reports to help companies improve and check their progress toward their diversity and inclusion goals.
In January 2015, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich unveiled an ambitious diversity and inclusion initiative, announcing that the company was allocating $300 million toward a plan to achieve “full representation”—meaning that Intel’s US workforce should be at least as diverse as that of the United States as a whole—by 2020. On Tuesday, the tech giant released its mid-year diversity report for 2017, showing where that effort stands halfway to its deadline. Like its past few reports, this one shows Intel making progress, albeit slowly and unevenly, toward its goals. While the raw percentages appear to show little progress—Women’s representation in all roles increased 0.3 percent over last year, but representation among underrepresented minorities remained fairly static—Krzanich says the company is now on track to meet its goal of “full representation” by 2018 instead of 2020, Lydia Dishman reports at Fast Company:
It’s important to note that full representation means that Intel’s target is “market availability,” which measures how many skilled people exist in the external U.S. labor market (drawn from multiple sources, including university graduation data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau) as well as Intel’s own internal market. That means the company is tracking its efforts in hiring, retention, and progression for every job category–both technical and nontechnical–for women, African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans.
As such, there have been some positive gains since December of 2014 when the gap to full representation was 2,300 employees. Today among about 55,000 employees in the U.S., that gap is down to 801 people, an improvement of 65%.
For the fourth straight year, Facebook released its annual diversity update for 2016 as part of an effort to increase accountability for making its workforce more inclusive of women and underrepresented minorities. The numbers revealed only slight progress, but given the considerable rise in employee headcount (nearly 3x since 2014) and investments made in long-term diversity initiatives, the progress is encouraging.
Now at over 17,000 employees, Facebook grew the proportion of women in its ranks by 2 percent since 2015, to 35 percent of the global workforce. Women’s numbers also rose by 2 percent in technical jobs to 19 percent while the percentage of women in leadership increased from 27 to 28 percent and is up four percentage points from 2014.
Black and Hispanic presence in the US has grown as well, each by one percent, now at 3 and 5 percent respectively. Minority presence in senior leadership, however, remained stagnant across Asian, black, and Hispanic Americans, and has hardly grown since 2014.
“For every increase in representation for an under-represented group, it means we are hiring them at rates that are higher than the rates we are for majority groups,” Facebook’s Global Director of Diversity, Maxine Williams, told Recode. “To outpace means there is a deliberate driving engine behind it.”
Williams credits a number of programs for the tech giant’s diversity progress and is optimistic for greater returns in the coming years. All of Facebook’s senior leaders and 75 percent of employees overall have taken its optional training program to address unconscious bias. Two newer courses, Managing Inclusion and Be an Ally, are also helping the cause. Managing Inclusion seeks to make leaders aware of the issues minorities face inside and outside of the workplace, while Be an Ally is designed to confirm the stance that diversity benefits the company and everyone in it.
“What you see in our numbers is a multi-year investment starting to pay off,” Facebook’s VP of People Lori Goler told Fortune.
Danielle Brown, a former VP, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, and Group CHRO at Intel, is joining Google as its new Vice President of Diversity, Google’s VP of People Operations Eileen Naughton announced in a blog post on Thursday. Brown’s appointment coincides with the release of Google’s latest diversity report, which Naughton points to as evidence of the progress the company is making in improving representation of women and people of color in its workforce:
Google’s updated workforce representation data shows that overall women make up 31 percent of our employees. In the past three years, women in tech roles have grown from 17 percent to 20 percent (from 19 percent to 20 percent over the last year) and women in leadership roles have grown from 21 percent to 25 percent (from 24 percent to 25 percent over the last year).
In the same period, our Black non-tech population has grown from 2 percent to 5 percent (from 4 percent to 5 percent over the last year). And in the past year, Hispanic Googlers have grown from 3 percent to 4 percent of our employees.
Naughton acknowledges, however, that Google still has a ways to go before it meets its diversity and inclusion goals. As Fortune’s Grace Donnelly points out, the company hasn’t made much progress in terms of racial and ethnic diversity in the past year:
Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch (Via Flickr
Lyft released its first diversity report on Thursday, in keeping with its promise to do so in the White House Tech Inclusion Pledge launched by the Obama administration last year. Overall, the report paints a picture of a fairly typical tech company, with men making up a substantial majority of technical and leadership roles and a predominantly white and Asian workforce.
In total, 63 percent of Lyft employees are white and 19 percent are Asian, with black and Hispanic (identified in the report as Latinx) employees making up 6 and 7 percent of its workforce, respectively. At higher levels, the diversity decreases, with the report showing that Lyft’s leadership is 70 percent white, 18 percent Asian, 5 percent Latinx, and just 1 percent black. The ridesharing company’s tech team is 51 percent white, 38 percent Asian, 4 percent Latinx and 2 percent black. In tech leadership, just 4 percent of Lyft’s employees are Latinx and none are black.
Lyft’s overall gender composition is uncommonly balanced, with 42 percent of its employees and 36 percent of leaders identifying as female—but on the tech side, women make up only 18 percent of employees and 13 percent of leaders. The report does not address how many employees identify as LGBTQ or people with disabilities, nor does it provide an intersectional analysis of race and gender.
So how does Lyft compare to its larger rival? Comparing against Uber’s first diversity report, which it released in March, we see that Lyft is doing slightly better on gender equality but comparably or slightly worse when it comes racial diversity. Women make up only 36 percent of Uber employees and 22 percent of its leadership; the gender balance of Uber’s tech leadership (89 percent male) is comparable to Lyft’s. While Uber’s workforce (which is much larger than Lyft’s) is slightly more racially diverse, with black employees accounting for 9 percent, Hispanic employees 5.6 percent, and employees who identify as multi-racial 4.3 percent. Uber’s technical staff, however, is almost exclusively white (49 percent) and Asian (48 percent), with very few underrepresented minorities.
In the midst of multiple scandals that have caused the company to re-evaluate its entire culture, Uber released its first diversity report on Tuesday. The report shows that women make up 36 percent of Uber’s staff worldwide, but only 15 percent of technical roles and 22 percent of leadership. Tech leadership at the ride-sharing startup is nearly 89 percent male. In the US, about half of Uber’s employees are white and 30 percent are Asian, while just under 9 percent are black, 5.6 percent are Hispanic, and 4.3 percent are multi-racial. In technical roles, however, Uber’s US workforce is 46 percent white and just under 48 percent Asian, with underrepresented minority groups barely represented. Uber leadership is also not very racially diverse: 76 percent white and 20 percent Asian, with black and Hispanic employees making up just over 3 percent of leaders in the company.
In a blog post announcing the report, CHRO Liane Hornsey acknowledges that Uber has a long way to go to become a more inclusive workplace but touts the progress it has made so far and the initiatives it is currently pursuing:
Of course, we need to do better and have much more work to do. But we’ve made some strides in diversifying our workforce: last year, 41% of new employees were women, which is 5% more than the proportion of women in our overall employee population. Similarly, we hired 3% more Black and 2% more Hispanic employees compared to our overall employee base.
In addition, we’re ramping up our presence at recruiting events around the country and our outreach to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). And today, we’re committing $3 million over the next three years to support organizations working to bring more women and underrepresented groups into tech. Employees will be crucial in deciding which organizations we partner with.
While Uber’s diversity numbers may not be especially impressive in absolute terms, by the standards of the tech sector they are well within the norm—albeit a norm that most agree is still too exclusive. Business Insider’s Biz Carson and Skye Gould do some great chart work looking at how Uber stacks up against other tech companies on various diversity numbers, showing that in some respects, Uber is actually ahead of its peers: It has a greater percentage of women in its overall workforce than other major tech companies, and its US staff is less overwhelmingly white. In tech and leadership roles, however, the company falls a bit behind its peers: For example, women make up 23 percent of tech roles at Apple and 19 percent at Facebook (low numbers themselves) compared to just 15.4 percent at Uber.
Uber has really been feeling its lack of women leadership as it has weathered a scandal involving allegations of pervasive sexist behavior and tolerance toward sexual harassment in the workplace, and it is playing catch-up on that front, as Recode’s Johana Bhuiyan explains: