Uber CEO Travis Kalanick / REUTERS

Uber Diversity Report Shows Shortage of Women, Minorities

Uber Technologies Inc released its first diversity report on Tuesday, showing that women and non-white employees are underrepresented at the ride-services company just as they are at many other technology firms.

Uber released the information after a series of revelations about its culture and business tactics that have incited calls for consumers to boycott the company and changes in senior management. A former employee last month recounted a workplace of sexual harassment and cut-throat competition, prompting Uber to launch an internal investigation.

Uber’s workforce overall is comprised of 36 percent women, but that number falls to 15 percent when looking at employees with technical roles, the company said.

By comparison, Alphabet Inc’s Google’s staff is 31 percent women, Twitter Inc’s is 37 percent women and messaging startup Slack’s workforce is 43 percent women, according to the companies’ websites.

Half of Uber’s total workforce is white, while Asians are the second-largest ethnic group at 31 percent. Blacks make up nearly 9 percent and Hispanics account for less than 6 percent, according to the report.

However, when looking at just those employees with technical jobs, only 1 percent of Uber’s staff is Black and 2 percent is Hispanic.

“We need to do better and have much more work to do,” Liane Hornsey, Uber’s human resources chief, said in a blog post accompanying the diversity report, which was posted on Uber’s website.

Uber also announced in the report it was committing $3 million over the next three years to support organizations working to bring more women and underrepresented groups into tech. It did not say which organizations would benefit.

Hornsey said,”It’s no secret that we’re late to release these numbers.” Technology companies, including startups, have released annual diversity reports for years. Uber was founded in 2009.

Uber said in its diversity report that its hiring practices are improving. Last year, Hornsey said, 41 percent of new employees were women, which is 5 percentage points more than the proportion of women in its overall workforce. Uber’s pool of new hires also has a larger percentage of Blacks and Hispanics.

Uber’s report comes more than a month after a former employee, Susan Fowler, wrote a blog post describing a company culture where sexual harassment was common and went unpunished.

According to Fowler, when she reported the offense to human resources officials and management, they declined to punish the alleged offender because he “was a high performer” and this was his “first offense.” After speaking with other female employees, though, she realized that both HR and management had been lying about this being the manager’s “first offense.”

The allegations prompted an internal investigation being led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and a public rebuke from early Uber investors Mitch Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein.

Fowler’s post put a spotlight on Uber’s diversity issues and the tech industry’s male-dominated culture. Uber’s own board of directors has just one woman and had no women for seven years.

DiversityInc Top 50 survey data found a correlation between women representation on boards and diversity-management performance. TheDiversityInc Top 50, on average, has 34 percent more women on its boards than all other participating companies.

Uber President Jeff Jones recently announced he isleaving the company after just six months in his position due to differences in “beliefs and approach to leadership.”

“I joined Uber because of its mission, and the challenge to build global capabilities that would help the company mature and thrive long term,” Jones said in a statement. “It is now clear, however, that the beliefs and approach to leadership that have guided my career are inconsistent with what I saw and experienced at Uber, and I can no longer continue as president of the ride sharing business.”

And Amit Singhal, former SVP of engineering, was asked to step down in February after it was discovered that he did not report a sexual harassment allegation made against him while he was working at Google. An internal investigation into the claim found it to be “credible,” Recode reported.

Uber also notably received criticism during protests of President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. The company lifted surcharges for passengers traveling to New York’s JFK Airport, a decision people saw as supporting and profiting off of the ban. The decision led to the trending topic #DeleteUber. About 200,000 people reportedly deleted the Uber app in response.

Reuters material contributed to this report.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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