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Lyft's diversity report shows it needs to work on diversity

The ride-hailing company releases its first-ever diversity report, which reveals its workforce is majority white and male. It says it's working on the issue.

Lyft's first-ever diversity report shows most of its employees are white or Asian.

Lyft

Lyft released its first diversity report on Thursday and like most other tech companies its workforce is mostly white and male.

Overall, Lyft's gender diversity isn't too shabby, but when you look at leadership and tech roles the numbers get slim. For instance, 42 percent of Lyft employees identify as women, but that number drops to 36 percent in leadership roles and only 18 percent in tech.

Lyft's ethnic makeup is overwhelmingly white and Asian. Overall, the ride-hailing company reported that 63 percent of its employees are white, 19 percent Asian, 7 percent Latino, 6 percent black and 1 percent Native American. Getting into leadership and tech roles, those numbers also drop.

As have other tech companies, Lyft says it's trying to address the problem.

"We have a lot of work to do," the company wrote in a blog post. "Releasing our data will hold us accountable, but it's the actions we take that will make a difference to the people who come to work every day at Lyft. Our diversity data exposes gaps in important areas. So we're doing something about it."

Over the last few years, diversity in tech has gotten a lot of attention, with a slew of news stories focusing on the largely white and male composition of staffs and boards of directors. Google was the first Silicon Valley company to release its statistics, and shortly thereafter several other major tech firms followed suit.

Lyft rival Uber released its diversity numbers in March, showing that it has a long way to go to achieve a diverse workforce. Overall Uber's workforce is 36 percent women, but only 22 percent are in leadership roles and 15 percent in tech. Again, its ethnic diversity is low, with black and Latino employees in the single-digit percentages.

Drivers aren't included in Lyft's and Uber's diversity statistics because they're considered independent contractors, rather than employees.

Lyft's plan to boost its diversity numbers involves strategies around "attracting," "selecting," "developing" and "retaining" employees. The company is also forming partnerships with universities and organizations to create a broader recruiting pipeline for underrepresented groups.

"In addition to the blind interview grading for software engineer candidates that we implemented over a year ago, we're training 100 percent of our managers on how to combat unconscious bias in the interview process, as well as in their day-to-day responsibilities," Lyft wrote.  

The company said it plans to release a diversity report on an annual basis.

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