Yahoo has responded to the years-long calls for tech companies to disclose their staffs' gender and racial breakdowns. The numbers released Tuesday show its workforce, like much of the tech industry, is dominated by white and Asian males. In its post releasing the data, Yahoo explained its reasoning:
"We're in the business of building products for hundreds of millions of users worldwide and that starts with having the best possible talent — a Yahoo team that understands and reflects our diverse user base," writes Jackie Reses, the company's chief development officer.
The numbers are especially stark among Yahoo's self-defined "tech" staff, which it separated out from its "non-tech" staff. Yahoo, as you know, has positioned itself as a multifaceted media company, so there are plenty of non-engineers in its ranks. Among tech staff, the male-female ratio is 85 percent to 15 percent.
Google released its numbers two weeks ago, so NPR's tables below show how Google and Yahoo compare, and with the Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers on the gender breakdown of the overall U.S. workforce in 2013.
(BLS workforce numbers by race cannot be directly compared. BLS counts Hispanic origin as an ethnicity, not as a race — so someone could be counted as both Hispanic and white. Google and Yahoo's racial tallies count Hispanics as a separate race.)
NPR has been reporting on the diversity issues in the technology industry for a while, as newsworthy incidents on this front seem to keep cropping up. But as guest blogger Catherine Bracy wrote last summer, solving racial and gender disparities must begin with a clearer picture of the problem. The data are helpful.