Yahoo follows Google's lead and publishes diversity numbers. It ain't pretty. by @chrisgayomali via @FastCompany
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Yahoo Publishes Internal Diversity Numbers, Which Are Just As Grim As Google's

Women account for just 15% of technology roles within the company.

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.

[Image: TechCrunch's Flickr]

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  • realexan

    Fast Company, have you given up on editorial integrity for page hits?

    Chris, the only thing more obvious than your disdain for white males in tech is your 3rd grade level understanding of statistics. Your 2-minute lesson for the day:

    1) I've seen statistics that show graduates from software engineering programs are usually between 70-80% male. Yahoo and Google have nothing whatsoever to do with this. The fact that they have nearly 40% females employed in light of the significant male dominance in engineering is pretty admirable.

    2) With regard to ethnicity, it either shows your strong internal bias or your complete lack of understanding (likely both) to single out "white men" for the headline. Whites make up around 65% of the country so, technically, they are actually underrepresented. I guess they should fire 90% of their Asian workforce to make things better?

    Really glad I cancelled my subscription to this magazine.

  • Maybe we want to investigate why women seeking engineering degrees typically accounts for less than 30% of students. Don't put the cart before the horse, we won't get anywhere forcing non-technical people into technical jobs.