Dropbox’s 2016 employee composition report shows the company is slightly more inclusive of women and people of color than it was last year, but the changes are largely minimal. The largest gain was made in leadership roles: an additional 6% of positions are now occupied by women. But women still only account for less than a third of leadership roles. Dropbox says it’s trying. In addition to fostering employee resource groups, the company will be investing in the tech pipeline through partnerships with Code2040 and others. It also offers “equal pay for equal work.” But let’s remember that in 2015, a former employee said this about Dropbox:
“I left Dropbox because as a black woman working on bettering myself, the tech industry doesn’t give a shit. Even with the skills to do more, if I had stayed at Dropbox, I would have always had the submissive role of serving others and never calling the shots. Why? Because a white manager didn’t want to see me do more.”
Look, I get it. Few tech companies are meaningfully moving the needle in terms of diversifying their staffs, so it’s easy to say to yourself that you’re doing just as much as everyone else. But that’s not enough to really usher in change. You can invest in all the programs, but what you really need is to hire people who want to work with more than just white guys. You have to actually promote black employees out of low-level administrative jobs and raise female employees out of middle management—show them that there is a path to the top. You have to reassess how you think about people and their worth.