Twitter Promises to Increase Employee Diversity

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Twitter acknowledged that it has been hiring too many white and Asian men to fill high-paying technology jobs, just like several other major companies in Silicon Valley.

The lack of diversity in Twitter's workforce of roughly 3,000 people was spelled out in data released Wednesday by the San Francisco company behind the popular short messaging service.

The breakdown revealed that 70% of Twitter's worldwide workforce is composed of men. In the U.S., nearly 90% of Twitter's workers are either white or Asian. Racial data wasn't provided for the global workforce.

Things look even worse when the numbers are boiled down to computer programming positions and other technology jobs that tend to pay the highest salaries. Just 10% of those jobs are held by women worldwide. More than 90% of Twitter's technology jobs in the U.S. are being handled by whites and Asians.

Twitter's scarcity of women, black and Latino workers mirrors similar situations at Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and LinkedIn Corp.

All of those companies have released their diversity data since late May in response to a campaign spearheaded by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and his Rainbow PUSH coalition.

Jackson has spent much of this year pressuring major Silicon Valley companies to diversify their workforces because the booming technology industry is expected to be a major source of employment for years to come. Many of those jobs pay six-figure salaries and dole out stock options that can become worth millions of dollars.

In a Wednesday statement, Jackson lambasted Twitter's diversity numbers as "pathetic" but called the disclosure of the problem as a "step in the right direction."

Twitter vowed to change its ways.

"We are keenly aware that Twitter is part of an industry that is marked by dramatic imbalances in diversity," Janet Van Huysse, the company's vice president of diversity and inclusion, wrote in a blog post. "By becoming more transparent with our employee data, open in dialogue throughout the company and rigorous in our recruiting, hiring and promotion practices, we are making diversity an important business issue for ourselves."

Like some other technology companies, Twitter is supporting programs that teach women how to program computers and introducing internal training programs aiming to weed out biases.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told reporters earlier this month that the iPhone and iPad maker plans to release its diversity data, too. He didn't say when that information will be released.

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  • Report this Comment On July 24, 2014, at 4:59 PM, TRILLIBRO wrote:

    Are qualified people according to Twitter's H.R. dept. being turned down? Maybe Rev. Jackson is better at determining the expertise, and the potential of the possible employees because of his many years as a pioneer in technology. Yeah that's the ticket, he started all these companies!

  • Report this Comment On July 25, 2014, at 8:50 AM, pondee619 wrote:

    I have a dream that someday a person will be judged by the strength of his/her character, by the quality of her/his skills and by the goodness in his/her heart and soul and NOT BY THE COLOR OF HIS/HER SKIN.

    To paraphrase a famous speech.

  • Report this Comment On July 30, 2014, at 10:33 AM, MayTepper wrote:

    Cantor Fitzgerald Maintains Buy On Twitter Following Booming 2Q14 Earnings http://bit.ly/1lWt9om

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