Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Diversity of Tech Companies by the Numbers: 2016 Edition

For the past few years, tech companies have been publicly releasing the diversity statistics of their employees. Over the same amount of time, I’ve compared their numbers to United States national statistics, via the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ releases — you can see that in the 2015 and 2014 editions.

This year, it’s more of the same, in more ways than one: I’ll be comparing those stats side-by-side in the same categories as defined by the BLS’ EEO-1 form — which limits the available racial and gender identity information — followed by some brief analysis. New this year is that I’m also noting the year-over-year percentage point difference. Please be aware that rounding errors and other factors may create imperfect differences from last year’s figures; however, these differences are worthwhile guidance.

One more note: last year, LinkedIn and Yahoo released their stats at the beginning of June and July, respectively, while Amazon and Twitter released theirs later in August. A Yahoo spokesperson told me that their diversity report will be available in September, while a LinkedIn spokesperson is tracking down their report internally. I will update this article should their figures become available.

Gender Diversity

Gender stats are reported by all companies on a global level; ethnic diversity is typically reported at a U.S.-only level. In the past, I’ve compared both sets of stats against U.S. figures; this year, I’m adding worldwide labour participation rates for genders, for a more complete set of stats. The World Bank only reports female labour force participation for their worldwide stats; the male labour force participation has been inferred based on the binary gender system currently used for these reports.

Gender Diversity, U.S.A.
Category Male Female
U.S.A. Overall (approx.) 49% 51%
U.S.A. Workforce (PDF) 53.2%
Δ 0
46.8%
Δ 0
Worldwide Workforce (inferred) 60% 40%
Gender Diversity in Tech Positions

Amazon does not separate tech and non-tech positions, so the same data has been used for both.

Company Male Female
Amazon 63% 37%
Apple 77%
Δ -2
23%
Δ +1
Facebook 83%
Δ -1
17%
Δ +1
Google 81%
Δ -1
19%
Δ +1
LinkedIn 80%
Δ -2
20%
Δ +2
Microsoft 83.0%
Δ +0.2
16.9%
Δ +0.2
Twitter 87% 13%
Yahoo 83%
Δ -1
17%
Δ +1
Gender Diversity in Non-Tech Positions

Amazon does not separate tech and non-tech positions, so the same data has been used for both.

Company Male Female
Amazon 63% 37%
Apple 62%
Δ -1
38%
Δ +1
Facebook 47%
Δ -1
53%
Δ +1
Google 53%
Δ 0
47%
Δ 0
LinkedIn 48%
Δ -2
52%
Δ +2
Microsoft 58.1%
Δ +1.3
41.7%
Δ -1.1
Twitter 50% 50%
Yahoo 48%
Δ +3
52%
Δ -3
Gender Diversity in Leadership/Executive Positions

The “U.S.A.” row uses the “management, business, and financial operations” data row from the BLS report, as a rough and imperfect approximation.

Company Male Female
U.S.A. (PDF, pgs. 23-25) 56.3%
Δ -0.4
43.8%
Δ +0.5
Amazon 75% 25%
Apple 72%
Δ 0
28%
Δ 0
Facebook 73%
Δ -4
27%
Δ +4
Google 76%
Δ -2
24%
Δ +2
LinkedIn 65%
Δ -5
35%
Δ +5
Microsoft 82.6%
Δ +0.1
17.3%
Δ -0.1
Twitter 78% 22%
Yahoo 79%
Δ +3
21%
Δ -3

Ethnic Diversity

As Google says in their report, “ethnicity refers to the EEO-1 categories which we know are imperfect categorizations of race and ethnicity, but reflect the US government reporting requirements”. Please keep that in mind.

The “U.S.A. Workforce” row uses data provided by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (PDF). Their demographics information (indicated page 9) is kind of a pain in the ass, though: the unemployed column is a percentage of the labour force, but the employed column is a percentage of the total population. I’ve done the math, though, and the results are what’s shown below. In addition, the BLS does not separate out those of Hispanic descent because “[p]eople whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race.” As such, the row will not add to 100%, but the percentage of Hispanics in the workforce has been noted per the table on page 10.

Similarly, the “U.S.A. Overall” row uses data from the CIA World Factbook, and they, too, do not note those of Hispanic descent separately. This row will also not add to 100%.

Ethic Diversity, U.S.A.
Category White Asian Hispanic Black Mixed Other or
Undeclared
U.S.A. Overall 79.96% 4.43% 15.1% 12.85% 1.61% 1.15%
U.S.A. Workforce (PDF) 79.1%
Δ -0.3
5.6%
Δ +0.1
16.3%
Δ +0.4
12.1%
Δ +0.2
1.8%
Δ +0.5
1.4%
Δ +0.2
Ethnic Diversity in Tech Positions

This year, I’ve added a row for the U.S.A. tech workforce as a whole, for comparison. It uses the “computer and mathematical operations” data row from the BLS report. Amazon does not separate tech and non-tech employees.

Company White Asian Hispanic Black Mixed Other or
Undeclared
U.S.A. (PDF, pg. 26) 70.0%
Δ -0.9
19.2%
Δ +0.7
6.6%
Δ +0.3
9.7%
Δ +1.4
N/A N/A
Amazon 60% 13% 9% 15% N/A 3%
Apple 55%
Δ +2
27%
Δ +2
8%
Δ 0
8%
Δ +1
2%
Δ 0
1%
Δ -5
Facebook 48%
Δ -3
46%
Δ +3
3%
Δ 0
1%
Δ 0
2%
Δ 0
<1%
Δ +<1
Google 57%
Δ -2
37%
Δ +2
3%
Δ +1
1%
Δ 0
3%
Δ 0
<1%
Δ 0
LinkedIn 35%
Δ +1
59%
Δ -2
3%
Δ 0
1%
Δ 0
2%
Δ +1
<1%
Δ 0
Microsoft 55.5%
Δ -0.3
35.8%
Δ +0.4
3.9%
Δ 0
2.3%
Δ +0.1
1.3%
Δ +0.1
0.8%
Δ +0.1
Twitter 56% 37% 3% 1% 1% 2%
Yahoo 31%
Δ 0
62%
Δ +1
2%
Δ -1
1%
Δ 0
1%
Δ 0
3%
Δ 0
Ethnic Diversity in Non-Tech Positions

Amazon does not separate tech and non-tech employees.

Company White Asian Hispanic Black Mixed Other or
Undeclared
Amazon 60% 13% 9% 15% N/A 3%
Apple 58%
Δ +3
12%
Δ +1
16%
Δ +2
11%
Δ +1
3%
Δ 0
1%
Δ -6
Facebook 60%
Δ -2
25%
Δ +1
7%
Δ 0
5%
Δ +2
3%
Δ 0
1%
Δ 0
Google 63%
Δ -1
23%
Δ 0
5%
Δ +1
4%
Δ 0
4%
Δ 0
<1%
Δ 0
LinkedIn 67%
Δ +1
20%
Δ -5
6%
Δ +2
4%
Δ +1
3%
Δ +1
<1%
Δ 0
Microsoft 67.6%
Δ 0
13.8%
Δ +0.7
8.6%
Δ +0.6
6.2%
Δ +0.1
1.4%
Δ +0.1
0.8%
Δ 0
Twitter 62% 24% 4% 4% 1% 5%
Yahoo 67%
Δ +1
18%
Δ -1
6%
Δ 0
3%
Δ 0
3%
Δ 0
4%
Δ +1
Ethnic Diversity in Leadership/Executive Positions

The “U.S.A.” row uses the “management, business, and financial operations” data from the BLS report, as a rough and imperfect approximation of the broad US national trend.

Company White Asian Hispanic Black Mixed Other or
Undeclared
U.S.A. (PDF, pg. 25) 84.2%
Δ -0.1
6.1%
Δ 0
8.9%
Δ +0.5
7.5%
Δ +0.1
N/A N/A
Amazon 71% 18% 4% 4% N/A 3%
Apple 67%
Δ +4
21%
Δ 0
7%
Δ +1
3%
Δ 0
1%
Δ N/A
0%
Δ -6
Facebook 71%
Δ -2
21%
Δ 0
3%
Δ 0
3%
Δ +1
2%
Δ +1
<1%
Δ N/A
Google 70%
Δ -2
25%
Δ +2
1%
Δ 0
2%
Δ 0
2%
Δ +1
<1%
Δ 0
LinkedIn 63%
Δ 0
30%
Δ 0
3%
Δ -1
1%
Δ 0
3%
Δ +1
0%
Δ 0
Microsoft 70.1%
Δ -1.0
22.4%
Δ +1.1
4.0%
Δ +0.1
2.1%
Δ -0.1
0.7%
Δ 0
0.4%
Δ 0
Twitter 72% 28% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Yahoo 72%
Δ -1
22%
Δ +3
3%
Δ +1
0%
Δ -1
0%
Δ -2
4%
Δ +1

Analysis

Let’s get something out of the way: I’m a white twenty-something Canadian who graduated from art college. Analysis of statistics of racial and gender diversity at American tech companies is not exactly my strongest suit. But, hey, you’ve made it this far. I want to be as fair as possible to everyone represented in these stats and at these companies. If there’s a problem, please let me know.

  • Apple notes this year that they achieved pay equity for all U.S. employees.

  • Apple also says that they reduced the amount of employees who chose not to declare their race or ethnicity compared to previous years. The majority of those identified as white.

  • Microsoft was a real mixed bag this year, becoming whiter and more male in a few areas — and, in some, significantly so.

  • Facebook made a relatively large 8 percentage-point shift in favour of women in leadership roles. No other company reported as large of a gain in any demographic.

  • Facebook also became the first company to highlight their LGBTQ community, with 7% of their staff identifying.

  • However, a disproportionately low presence of black employees continues at Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. All three companies have released products with flaws experienced by black and darker-skinned users — issues that, if those companies had a greater proportion of black employees, would likely have been found and corrected.

  • I will reiterate that one of the excuses most frequently cited by tech companies for their lack of diversity is a small selection of underrepresented prospective employees coming out of colleges and universities in the United States. This is false.

  • Across the board, most gains are on the order of one or two percentage points, or even less. This is similar to last year’s incremental improvements.

  • Even though half the companies I survey annually have yet to release their latest data, I don’t anticipate much difference from last year. As I said at the top, however, I will update this should those figures become available.

  • Something that, unfortunately, comes with reporting any stats on gender and ethnicity is that angry white men use it to try to support their thesis that the white male is oppressed. These people can quietly fuck themselves.

Update Aug 15: A LinkedIn spokesperson has told me that their stats will be out by the beginning of October, but noted that their numbers are “looking strong”. We shall see.

Update Oct 19: LinkedIn’s figures are now current for 2016. LinkedIn reported some of the most positive gains overall, especially for women at the company. LinkedIn remains one of the few companies where the non-tech category has more women than men. Even so, an 80/20 split for tech employees puts them in the middle of a pack led by Amazon and Apple.

Update Oct 31: Yahoo’s data is now current for 2016. Their non-tech staff actually became whiter and more male overall, while leadership staff also became more male. There are some minor indications of improvements, but this year’s report from Yahoo generally shows a regressing trend — completely the opposite of the claims of a recent lawsuit against Yahoo.