Dismal 2%: Tech Diversity Reports Abysmal For Blacks

At companies like Google, Facebook, and Yahoo!, black professionals scarce

Facebook diversity

According to the diversity report, Facebook's entire company is only 2% black, while its tech portion is only 1%.

Six thousand, eight hundred and eighteen people work at Facebook.

Six thousand, one hundred and thirty-eight people work at Yahoo.

How many of their employees are black?

Just 2% per company, according to the latest diversity reports released by both companies.

On June 17, Yahoo! released its 2013 Equal Employment Opportunity report on its Tumblr page, detailing the exact number of employees at the company, and breaking it down by ethnicity and gender. The 2% of black employees at Yahoo! boils down to a total of 138. That’s 79 men and 59 women, with no men and only three females in executive or managerial positions. Fifty-six black men are considered “professionals” while only 29 black women have that title.

Facebook’s report is equally damning, though the company did not disclose its exact numbers. With 6,818 employees as of March 2014, 2% of that would equal about 136 black employees. “As these numbers show, we have more work to do – a lot more,” said Facebook’s Global Head of Diversity, Maxine Williams. “But the good news is that we’ve begun to make progress.”

Unfortunately, tech companies have been notorious for hiding and downright denying access to equal employment opportunity records, making it difficult to compare the present conditions to the past. At both Facebook and Yahoo! respectively only 4% of employees are Hispanic.

According to Google’s own diversity report, as well as the National Science Foundation, blacks and Hispanics earn only 6% and 8% of the total computer science degrees, respectively.

Nonetheless, these reports highlight the growing issue in Silicon Valley: a lack of color among supposedly meritocratic tech companies.

Facebook’s diversity report detailed steps the company is taking to encourage and promote a more colorful workforce, including partnerships with “Girls Who Code, Code 2040, National Society of Black Engineers; Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and Management Leadership for Tomorrow.”

Yahoo! made no mention of any plans or programs the company is involved in to promote workforce diversity, but said it is devoted to making its employees feel welcome. “We have a wide range of Employee Resource Groups that serve people of diverse backgrounds and are highly engaged in their respective communities. For example, Yahoo received a 100% Corporate Equality Index score and was named a ‘Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality.’”

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