Following Google's lead, Yahoo has gone ahead and published internal diversity numbers for the first time in company history.
"We're in the business of building products for hundreds of millions of users worldwide," writes chief development officer Jackie Reses in a Tumblr post, "and that starts with having the best possible talent—a Yahoo team that understands and reflects our diverse user base."
So, what do Yahoo's internal numbers reveal? Mostly, a multi-billion-dollar technology company that is overwhelmingly white and male.
Overall, Yahoo is comprised of 62% men and 37% women. That's slightly better that Google's gender divide—which is 70% men and 30% women—but parity is still far off, especially at the leadership level. Including CEO Marissa Mayer, just 23% of Yahoo executives are women.
In technology roles specifically (engineering, etc.), the disparity is even more pronounced: 15% women versus 85% men are actually building products for Yahoo users.
In terms of ethnicity, 89% of Yahoo employees are either white or Asian. Black and Hispanic employees, on the other hand, account for 2% and 4% of Yahoo's workforce, respectively.
The biggest Silicon Valley giants realize that in order to appeal to the widest swath of customers, you need to include as many different perspectives as possible. Some companies, like Etsy, are proactively trying to increase the number of female engineers in their workforce by setting insanely ambitious hiring goals. Others are turning directly to technology for ham-fisted solutions, banking on ideas like diversity algorithms to conduct hiring practices, which don't really get to the root of the problem.
While transparency is a nice bit of PR for companies like Google and Yahoo, the simple truth is it doesn't mean very much unless they also work to move the needle on hiring workers who reflect society more accurately. If these big tech companies were to set a new standard and publish internal diversity numbers every year, from here on out, maybe then we'd start getting somewhere.
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