Twitter diversity report: As male and white as Facebook

Twitter reveals the ethnicity and gender makeup of its employees, acknowledging it has a diversity problem.

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CNET

Twitter on Wednesday joined a growing number of technology companies in upping transparency and issuing a diversity report on employees. The outlook: predominantly white males, as to be expected in an industry grappling with deeply rooted gender and ethnicity imbalances.

Twitter is 70 percent male overall, yet 90 percent of "tech" jobs are filled by males. The male-female split for non-tech jobs is 50-50. Twitter leadership is 79 percent male.

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Twitter

By tech jobs, Twitter is referring mostly to engineering, while non-tech jobs refer to marketing and public relations, human resources, sales, and other roles not requiring traditional computer science skills or programming chops.

As for ethnicity breakdown, Twitter is mostly white and Asian, at 59 percent and 29 percent respectively. That ratio is mirrored across tech, non-tech, and leadership roles almost uniformly. Hispanic and Latino employees make up only three percent of Twitter's workforce and for black employees, only two percent.

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

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Twitter

As more tech companies begin actively taking steps to address the diversity imbalance in the industry, diversity reports are on the rise. Facebook issued a near-identical report last month outlining that 85 percent of tech roles were filled by males, with the company's male-to-female ratio coming in at 69-31. Facebook's ethnicity breakdown was also predominantly white and Asian, at 57 percent and 34 percent respectively.

"As these numbers show, we have more work to do -- a lot more," Maxine Williams, Facebook 's global head of diversity, said at the time. "But the good news is that we've begun to make progress...Since our strategic diversity team launched last year, we're already seeing improved new hire figures and lower attrition rates for underrepresented groups."

By law, these companies are required to file diversity statistics with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Only recently, as pressure mounts on Silicon Valley to do more, have tech companies started to highlight the figures in public.

Google, Yahoo, and LinkedIn have all issued reports revealing that their employee bases are 90 percent white and Asian collectively. Google, like Twitter and Facebook, is also only 30 percent female, while Yahoo is 38 percent female.

 

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