Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Diversity of Tech Companies by the Numbers: 2015 Edition

Note: Making these tables responsive is the biggest pain in the ass. If you’re on a phone, save this to Instapaper or something and come back to it on your tablet or desktop.

Updated August 17: Added Amazon.

Updated August 28: Updated Twitter’s numbers to their 2015 figures and added related commentary.

Last year was the first year that most big tech companies began to report their employee diversity figures after attention was called to their lack of diversity, particularly for women of all ethnicities. I’ve gathered up the latest round of diversity reports from the same companies — Apple, Google, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Yahoo — to see how they’ve done with the past year to grow. As with last year, these figures are compared against the latest available national statistics, from 2013, and some analysis will follow.

Please note that Twitter has not yet made updated diversity data public. I have reached out to them for comment or any indication of updated numbers and will update this if they choose to release their figures this year (they are not required to do so publicly). For comparison’s sake, I’m using 2014 data.

Gender Diversity

Almost all available data in this selection of companies solely reports a male/female split. Yahoo is the only company that has an “other/not disclosed” option. Please note that Google and Microsoft have retail operations which are not made distinct from the corporate side of the company. This year, Apple did break out its retail operations — see analysis.

Gender Diversity, USA
Category Male Female
USA Overall (approx.) 49% 51%
USA Workforce (PDF) 53.2% 46.8%
Gender Diversity in Tech Positions

Last year, Microsoft did not separate tech and non-tech workers; this year, they did, so the table data isn’t necessarily comparable. Amazon does not separate tech and non-tech employees.

Company Male Female
Amazon (see note) 63% 37%
Apple 79% 22%
Facebook 84% 16%
Google 82% 18%
LinkedIn 82% 18%
Microsoft (see note) 82.8% 16.7%
Twitter 87% 13%
Yahoo 84% 16%
Gender Diversity in Non-Tech Positions

Last year, Microsoft did not separate tech and non-tech workers; this year, they did, so the table data isn’t necessarily comparable. Amazon does not separate tech and non-tech employees.

Yahoo reports 1% of their non-tech employees identify with a gender other than male or female, or do not disclose their gender.

Company Male Female
Amazon (see note) 63% 37%
Apple 63% 37%
Facebook 48% 52%
Google 53% 47%
LinkedIn 50% 50%
Microsoft (see note) 56.8% 42.8%
Twitter 50% 50%
Yahoo (see note) 45% 54%
Gender Diversity in Leadership/Executive Positions

The “USA” row uses the “management, business, and financial operations” data row from the BLS report, as a rough and imperfect approximation. This is different than my table last year, which used the “management occupations” row; my impression is that the row that includes business operations is a better approximation of what the tech companies are actually reporting.

Company Male Female
USA (PDF, pgs. 21-23) 56.7% 43.3%
Amazon 75% 25%
Apple 72% 28%
Facebook 77% 23%
Google 78% 22%
LinkedIn 70% 30%
Microsoft 82.5% 17.4%
Twitter 78% 22%
Yahoo (see note) 76% 24%

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 “USA 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 “USA 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%.

Google and Microsoft have retail operations which are not made distinct from the corporate side.

Ethic Diversity, USA
Category White Asian Hispanic Black Mixed Other or
Undeclared
USA Overall 79.96% 4.43% 15.1% 12.85% 1.61% 1.15%
USA Workforce (PDF) 79.4% 5.5% 15.9% 11.9% 1.3% 1.2%
Ethnic Diversity in Tech Positions

This year, I’ve added a row for the USA 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
USA (PDF, pg. 25) 70.9% 18.5% 6.3% 8.3% N/A N/A
Amazon (see note) 60% 13% 9% 15% N/A 3%
Apple 53% 25% 8% 7% 2% 6%
Facebook 51% 43% 3% 1% 2% 0%
Google 59% 35% 2% 1% 3% <1%
LinkedIn 34% 61% 3% 1% 1% <1%
Microsoft (see note) 55.8% 35.4% 3.9% 2.2% 1.2% 0.7%
Twitter 56% 37% 3% 1% 1% 2%
Yahoo 31% 61% 3% 1% 1% 3%
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 (see note) 60% 13% 9% 15% N/A 3%
Apple 55% 11% 14% 10% 3% 7%
Facebook 62% 24% 7% 3% 3% 1%
Google 64% 23% 4% 4% 4% <1%
LinkedIn 66% 25% 4% 3% 2% <1%
Microsoft (see note) 67.6% 13.8% 8.0% 6.1% 1.3% 0.8%
Twitter 62% 24% 4% 4% 1% 5%
Yahoo 66% 19% 6% 3% 3% 3%
Ethnic Diversity in Leadership/Executive Positions

The “USA” 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
USA (PDF, pg. 24) 84.3% 6.1% 8.4% 7.4% N/A N/A
Amazon 71% 18% 4% 4% N/A 3%
Apple 63% 21% 6% 3% N/A 6%
Facebook 73% 21% 3% 2% 1% 1%
Google 72% 23% 1% 2% 1% <1%
LinkedIn 63% 30% 4% 1% 2% 0%
Microsoft 71.1% 21.3% 3.9% 2.2% 0.7% 0.4%
Twitter 72% 28% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Yahoo 73% 19% 2% 1% 2% 3%

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. If there’s a problem, please let me know.

  • Most companies made only tiny gains in their tech worker diversity in the past year, on the order of singular percentage points. Apple, Google, Yahoo, and Facebook all posted single percentage point gains in their male/female split (i.e. Facebook went from an 85/15 split to 84/16). An improvement, but nothing to shout about.

  • Microsoft’s gender stats were thrown off by their lack of a tech/non-tech breakdown last year, but it shows just how male-dominated their workforce is, though not as extreme as Yahoo or Apple.

  • This year’s report from Apple makes their retail operations’ demographics distinct from their corporate demographics. It’s much more transparent.

    I’m surprised at how male-dominated their retail side is. I had a hunch that there would be a much more even split between males and females, and that it was potentially tipping their corporate data last year, but that does not appear to be the case.

  • The non-tech side of most tech companies has a much better male/female ratio than the tech or leadership reports. Sometimes, as in the case of Facebook and Yahoo, it’s actually female-dominated. Apple is the outlier here, with a very male-heavy staff overall.

  • Leadership positions, as you may expect, did not significantly change over the past year in either gender or ethnicity distribution. The exception is Yahoo, which became much more white over the past year.

  • While the comparison isn’t perfect, leadership positions, as a whole, are far more male dominant than the USA as a whole.

  • Black and Hispanic Americans are hired at significantly disproportionate rates in tech positions compared to the national distribution, and also when compared to computer science graduates.

  • More companies released their full EEO-1 reports this year than last year, demonstrating a desire for more transparency but also revealing in much greater detail just how few improvements they’ve made. Facebook, for example, hired precisely 36 black Americans this year, out of over a thousand new employees. For comparison, Microsoft hired 249 new black Americans out of about 2,000 new employees, and Apple hired 561 new black employees out of 5,000 hires. This appears to conflict with Tim Cook’s statement that they “hired more than 2,200 Black employees” in the U.S., so my reading of the EEO-1 might be wrong, or they experienced some employee churn. I’m looking into this.

  • Tim Cook: “Additionally, in the first 6 months of this year, nearly 50 percent of the people we’ve hired in the United States are women, Black, Hispanic, or Native American.” That’s huge.

  • As Amazon has extensive non-tech operations — delivery drivers, warehouse employees, and the like — the blending of non-tech and tech employee diversity figures is very misleading, especially if their tech position demographics are comparable to other companies surveyed.

  • Twitter’s diversity improved only marginally this year, like most other companies surveyed. While they did improve their male-female balance, they are — as a whole — more white than last year.

  • I’m not sure what to make of Twitter’s goal to “[increase] women in tech roles to 16%” from 13%. It’s pretty disappointing that a three percentage-point difference is considered a goal. On the other hand, their 50-50 non-tech split is among the best here.