You know what they say: Admitting is the first step. And if Silicon Valley is going to fix its current diversity problem, then major tech companies such as Google, LinkedIn and Yahoo are off to a good start.
On June 17, Yahoo became the latest major tech company to reveal its employee demographics and, similar to earlier disclosures from Google and LinkedIn, the highest proportion of the company’s workers are white males.
In an infographic on Yahoo’s Tumblr page, the company revealed that 62 percent of company employees were male, a proportion that reached 85 percent in the company’s tech operations. In addition, exactly 50 percent of company employees were white, including 78 percent of the company’s leadership.
“Here at Yahoo we are committed to attracting, developing and retaining a diverse workforce,” wrote Jackie Reses, Yahoo’s chief development officer. “We’re in the business of building products for hundreds of millions of users worldwide and that starts with having the best possible talent -- a Yahoo team that understands and reflects our diverse user base.”
Google’s numbers were more striking — 70 percent of company employees were men, and 61 percent were white. Google also has four times the employees of Yahoo, nearly 50,000 to the latter’s 12,200. LinkedIn, meanwhile, reported that 61 percent of its roughly 5,400 employees were male, and 53 percent were white.
This is nothing new for Silicon Valley, and the lack of diversity starts at the top. According to a Catalyst study from early 2014, less than one-fifth of U.S. companies had 25 percent or more women directors, while one-tenth had no women serving on their boards in both 2012 and 2013.
And this latest disclosure comes days after a Corporate Women Directors International study revealed that Europe, not the United States, is far and away the world leader in corporate board diversity. The survey found that 16 of the 25 Global 200 companies with the highest percentages of women board members are now European. The U.S., which had 20 of the top 27 companies one decade ago, is now down to eight in the top 25.