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More Tech Companies Cast a Net for Diversity Leaders


A new wave of tech companies has started to publicly prioritize diversity by giving it its own job title. Many of tech’s big guns, including Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Apple, and Google already consider diversity efforts worthy of an in-house point person, according to HR Dive.


(Photo Credit: Steve Snodgrass/Flickr)

Some of them, including Facebook, Google, Twitter, Apple, and Intel, have also made an effort to address hiring disparities in gender and ethnicity in the industry in other ways, including being transparent about their workforce data.

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Other examples: In August, Twitter, which was criticized last year for its dismal diversity numbers, made a vow to increase its female tech workforce from 10 percent to 16 percent, and to up the number of women in all of the company’s leadership roles from 21 to 25 percent in 2016. In January, Intel announced plans to devote $300 million toward improving diversity over the next five years. 

Many Names for the Same Role

Now, more and more of the newer rising tech stars are joining the fold and looking to fill diversity-related positions, specifically in leadership roles. According to HR Dive, Airbnb (Head of Diversity and Belonging), Asana (Diversity Program Lead), AutoDesk (Director of Diversity and Inclusion), and Dropbox (Diversity Sourcer) are all recruiting for some version of an in-house diversity leader or related role. (Incidentally, Dropbox is also in the market for a Head Pastry Chef).

Given that diversity or the lack thereof in the tech industry is an ongoing topic of controversy, the visible increase in the number of companies choosing to institutionalize improving it is unsurprising. Is implementing a “Head of Diversity” role inspired by a real desire for a diverse workplace, or is it a face-saving tactic? That’s a separate conversation, as are the implications of employee diversity data in relation to the gender and ethnicity breakdown of the population as a whole. 

Leadership and Diversity

According to a fascinating dataset from The Verge, an average of 65 percent of leadership roles in seven of the world’s biggest tech companies are held by white males. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Intel were the companies factored into the sample.

The Verge data reveals a slightly higher average in this chart, which quantifies diversity in the same set of companies as a whole (not leadership roles). In the following chart, an average of 43 percent of the same seven companies are categorized as white males. 

LinkedIn made a stab at quantifying companies’ diversity leader efforts (both in tech and other industries), by compiling a list of the Top 23 Head Of Diversity & Inclusion profiles on LinkedIn. Yelp, Bayer, and Bloomberg are included among the winners.

Tell Us What You Think 

Have a question or insight on diversity in the tech industry? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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Robert Haastrup-Timmi Recent comment authors
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Robert Haastrup-Timmi
Robert Haastrup-Timmi

See a recent post on Linkedin how aims to help companies attract diverse professional talent, titled: Impact Diversity Recruitment Advertising?

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