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The people running Silicon Valley are pretty much all white or Asian men

Reuters/Richard Brian
Too common a sight.
By Max Nisen
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

It’s not a surprise to anyone who has seen the numbers at other tech companies, but Facebook’s release of employee demographic data has provided more stark evidence that Silicon Valley has a diversity problem.

Tech companies are disproportionately made up of white or Asian men. Their senior leadership skews white—and again, male. And technology staffs are mostly men, almost exclusively white and Asian.

If you look at non-tech and overall employees, the numbers aren’t exactly encouraging, but they are slightly more in line with population averages and less unbalanced than tech and leadership.

Using data helpfully compiled in part by the technology blog, here’s the global gender breakdown for technology employees at the three companies. It’s a pretty incredible gap: The companies average only 16% women and none crack 20%.


Here’s the ethnic breakdown, which due to issues collecting such data around the world, reflects only the United States. Yahoo is a big outlier here, with a majority-Asian technology workforce:


“Senior leader” means above the director level at Google and above the vice president level at Yahoo. We’ve reached out to Facebook to ask what their definition is, and will update this post if they respond. Update (June 27): Facebook also defines “senior leader” as director level or above. The gender divide isn’t as extreme as in technology, but still looks worse than the companies as a whole:


Senior leadership is the most racially homogenous of any of the subcategories the companies choose to break out: More than 70% of leaders are white at all three companies, and only a tiny sliver are black or Hispanic.


In a blog post releasing the data, Facebook pledges to hire from underrepresented communities through recruitment and partnering with organizations working toward that same goal. “As these numbers show, we have more work to do – a lot more,” writes Facebook’s head of diversity, Maxine Williams. “But the good news is that we’ve begun to make progress.”

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