Workforce diversity at online companies - Statistics & Facts

The prevalence in gender wage gap and a lack of representation for non-White employees is a continued reality amongst online companies. Online companies and their company culture have frequently been criticized as unwelcoming towards women and minorities. For example, in 2015 only 25 percent of employees in computing-related occupations in the U.S. were female. In computer and mathematical occupations the recorded percentage of employed workers from minority groups was just 7.9 percent for African-Americans in 2016. This is in spite of the fact that African-Americans make up the second largest minority group, only behind Hispanics, in the U.S.

Beginning in the summer of 2014, many prominent U.S.-based online companies began publishing diversity reports and publicly stated their commitment to increasing diversity within their own workforce but change has been slow and lacking. As of 2015, only 17.4 percent of Fortune 500 companies had a female employed as a Chief Information Officer (CIO). Despite all the public assurances, online companies are still disproportionately dominated by white male employees.

Amongst the most prominent online companies, the online recruiting network LinkedIn had the largest reported share of female employees in 2016 with 42 percent of LinkedIn employees worldwide being women. The distribution of Google employees in 2016 saw a ratio of less than one female for two male employees and despite having a female CEO, female employees made up a mere 37 percent in the distribution by gender of Yahoo employees in 2016. Female employment in tech departments remains very low. For example, there are only 27 percent of female Facebook employees working in the company’s tech departments worldwide as at 2016.

Because of the use of data that include ethnicity on EEO-filings, data on the ethnic diversity of company employees only pertain to the U.S. Asians possess the largest representation amongst minority groups in online companies. As an example, Yahoo’s U.S. workforce was 44 percent Asian in 2016, compared to 2 percent for Blacks. Non-white minorities, including Asians, experience the lowest level of representation in online companies at senior level positions. In 2016, 71 percent of Facebook senior level positions were held by Whites while only 3 percent was held by both Blacks and Hispanics.

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