Twitter Finally Releases Its Diversity Data, And It Does Not Look Good

Kudos, though, for transparency.

Twitter Finally Releases Its Diversity Data, And It Does Not Look Good
[Image: Flickr user José Manuel Ríos Valiente]

After years of refusing to show the public how many women and minorities it hires, Twitter finally relented on Wednesday afternoon.


On its blog, Twitter posted two detailed bar graphs looking at the backgrounds of its employees across tech, non-tech, and leadership roles. Compared to the rest of Silicon Valley’s top firms, Twitter fares okay, if not slightly better than the dire averages. But it’s still not very good.

Overall, women make up 30% of Twitter employees, but only 21% of leadership positions. Across the company, only 5% of employees are black or Latino, and Latino executives at Twitter are so rare that they don’t even show up on the chart.

“We are keenly aware that Twitter is part of an industry that is marked by dramatic imbalances in diversity — and we are no exception,” Twitter’s vice president of diversity and inclusion Janet Van Huysse wrote.

Van Huysse also took the opportunity to point out initiatives like Girls Who Code, the Out for Tech group, Black Girls Code, Year Up, and Girl Geek Dinners that Twitter supports. But releasing the data itself marks an equally, if not more significant step, following in the paths of major Silicon Valley employers like Google and Facebook. “By becoming more transparent with our employee data, open in dialogue throughout the company and rigorous in our recruiting, hiring and promotion practices, we are making diversity an important business issue for ourselves,” Van Huysse wrote.

Earlier this month, feminist hacker space Double Union launched a website to track companies that did and did not release their diversity data to the public. Last week, Reverend Jesse Jackson honed in on Twitter specifically, starting a petition that asked the tech giant to be more transparent.

It’s unclear if either had an influence on Twitter’s final decision. To read more from the company, click here.

About the author

Sydney Brownstone is a Seattle-based former staff writer at Co.Exist. She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with windows that don’t quite open, and covers environment, health, and data.