Twitter, 23andMe, Adobe, Google and Lyft are among the offenders
By now, the extent of Silicon Valley’s “woman problem” is pretty clear. Just in the past year alone, there’s been the reported culture of chauvinism at Uber, the world’s most valuable tech startup; the (in)famous letter from now-fired Google engineer James Damore that was widely deemed misogynistic; and even the sexual harassment allegations that forced out Amazon Studios head Roy Price. There’s the fact that women make up just a third of the workforce at Facebook, one of 21st century America’s great success stories, and even less at Google.
But until very recently, the status of women of color in Silicon Valley was largely unquantified. Now, a new report from The Center for Investigative Reporting reveals the extent to which non-white women are underrepresented in the United States’ most vibrant economic center.
The results aren’t pretty reading. “Female executives who were black, Latina or multiracial were nonexistent at eight of the 23 [polled] companies, including Adobe Systems, Google and Lyft,” the non profit journalistic outfit wrote. It’s only marginally better at Twitter, which has been heavily criticized in some parts for serving as a platform to white supremacist trolls like Richard Spencer, who recently pondered if women should have the right to vote. The microblogging network had a combined 11 female managers who were either black, Latina or mixed race.
Per the Center’s analysis, other offenders include Apple, where black women execs make up less than 1% of management personnel. Genomics company 23AndMe, which was co-founded by prominent tech ladyboss Susan Wojcicki, had zero black women in supervisory positions. AirBnB, whose co-founder Joe Gebbia recently invested in a (white) female-led venture capital firm, reports a grand total of three black women bosses. Pinterest, a social media platform popular with women, had one black female manager and zero Latinas. At Uber, less than 2% of managers were black or Latina women.
As we’ve previously reported, Asian women are relatively well represented among the professional classes, but their numbers dip significantly once you go higher up the corporate ladder. Apple for instance, had 2,650 Asian female pros—11% of the professional category. That figure drops to 6% when you filter for executive personnel.
For its report, the nonprofit Center reached out to 211 major Bay Area tech companies and asked for their EEO-1 reports, a compliance survey that large employers are legally required to submit to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The reports are confidential and only 23 companies responded with their most recent survey. Among the companies who didn’t make their EEO-1s available were Slack, Oracle and Peter Thiel’s Palantir.
Many of these firms also release a less thorough annual diversity report, though they don’t necessarily break down their demographics into race and gender specifics.
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