Twitter Joins Tech Peers in Showing Lack of Diversity

By Julissa Catalan


On Wednesday, Twitter became the latest tech-industry giant to release its workforce diversity stats to the public in a blog post headlined “Building a Twitter we can be proud of.”

Following in the footsteps of its Silicon Valley brethren, Twitter announced that a majority of its U.S. employees are white and Asian men.

Beginning in May, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Yahoo! all released their diversity stats one after the other, following years of fighting to keep their EEO data a secret.

Per Twitter’s own admission, 90 percent of its workers are white or Asian, while 90 percent of tech positions within the company are also filled by white or Asian men.

Overall, men make up 70 percent of Twitter jobs across the board.

Of Twitter’s U.S. employees, 3 percent are Latino and 2 percent are Black.

“We are keenly aware that Twitter is part of an industry that is marked by dramatic imbalances in diversityand we are no exception. 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,” wrote Janet Van Huysse, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion.

Like Google and Yahoo!, Asians make up the second-largest ethnic group for Twitter employees, at around 30 percent.

The Latino and Black figures are an exact match, with Twitter, Google and Yahoo! all having 3 percent Latinos and 2 percent Blacks in their workforce.

Interestingly, Blacks, Latinos and Asians account for 41 percent of U.S. users of Twittermaking it the most racially diverse social-media site.

More than 25 percent of Black Internet users in the U.S. are on Twitter. “Black Twitter”an unofficial community of Black Twitter usersis believed to be the driving force behind these figures.

“The numbers are pathetic but this is a step in the right direction,” Reverend Jesse Jackson said in an interview Wednesday.

Twitter’s announcement comes a week after Jackson began a campaign via his Rainbow PUSH coalition as well as through the civil-rights organization ColorofChange.org requesting Twitter release its demographic information.

More than 25,000 signatures were gathered in an online petition.

Jackson urged Twitter to begin setting goals in order to diversify the company.

“We are going to come back out there real soon and begin to convene Silicon Valley companies to work out a plan with them to achieve inclusion,” Jackson said.

Twitter does not participate in theDiversityInc Top 50 survey.

To give some perspective, theaverage workforce-representation data for the2014 DiversityInc Top 50companies is: 11.9 percent Black, 9.8 percent Latino, 9.8 percent Asian and 46.2 percent women.

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