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Uber’s first diversity report under CEO Dara Khosrowshahi shows Uber is still mostly white and male

The company has zero Latinx or black employees in tech leadership roles, and it saw a drop in the number of black employees across the board.

A selfie of Uber employees featuring former CEO Travis Kalanick, current CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and board member Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington / Twitter

Uber, long opposed to reporting the demographics of its employees, has released its second diversity report ever and first public report under new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Little progress has been made, particularly with regard to representation from black and Latinx employees.

The company saw a drop in black employees, which now make up 8.1 percent of its workforce, down from 8.8 percent last year. There was a small uptick in Latinx workers at 6.1 percent of the employee base, up from 5.6 percent.

Uber’s leadership is still predominantly white. The percentage of black employees in those roles accounted for 2.8 percent, compared with 2.3 percent last year. Representation of executives who are Latinx was 1.4 percent, up from 0.8 percent. The proportion of women who held leadership positions fell to 21 percent from 22 percent las year.

In technology-related positions, those numbers are more staggering. Hispanic or Latinx employees made up only 3 percent of all tech employees while black workers only made up 2.6 percent. There were zero Latinx or black employees in tech leadership roles.

Instead, those roles are split between white and Asian employees. But the caveat here is that split is more balanced than last year. In 2017, 75 percent of tech leadership roles were held by white employees. This year, white employees held 57.9 percent of roles while Asian employees held 42.1 percent.

Uber’s personnel issues came to the forefront in early 2017 when a former employee, Susan Fowler, posted her lengthy account of the harassment and sexism she encountered at the company. That sparked an internal investigation that led to some changes in its executive ranks: Top managers left or were pushed out.

That included then-CEO Travis Kalanick, who was eventually forced out of his executive role and replaced by Expedia executive Khosrowshahi.

Khosrowshahi, who started in August, emphasized the need to reboot the company culture, including dealing with diversity and differences of thought. In one of his first all-hands meetings, Khosrowshahi introduced a series of new company values. Among them was the need to celebrate differences at the company.

“We stand apart from the average,” the value Khosrowshahi introduced read. “We ensure people of diverse backgrounds feel welcome. We encourage different opinions and approaches to be heard, and then we come together and build.”

But Khosrowshahi’s leadership hasn’t significantly changed the composition of the company’s leadership just yet. Though he only started last year, his appointment was as much a mandate to undo Kalanick’s take-no-prisoners approach, starting with Uber’s executive ranks.

Uber diversity stats

The company’s employee base also stands in stark contrast to the racial makeup of its nearly three million drivers. Approximately 22 percent of U.S. Uber drivers are black while Latinx drivers make up approximately 14 percent, according to a recent study from Temple University.

Still, Uber executives, like its new chief diversity officer Bo Young Lee, celebrated the second publication of its diversity numbers, calling it a “marathon, not a sprint.”

Uber has 16,000 employees worldwide and 9,382 in the U.S. as of December 2017, according to the company’s recent Equal Employment Opportunity report. According to those same reports, Uber hired 3,497 employees between December 2016 and December 2017.

Putting these numbers in a larger context, about 13 percent of the U.S. population are black and close to 18 percent are Latinx, according to the most recent Census data.

Compared to other tech companies, Uber has more black employees overall than seven of the 10 tech companies we looked at including Facebook, Twitter and Google. Uber’s Latinx representation, now that it’s up from 5.6 to 6.1 percent, is a bit better than that of Pinterest Microsoft and Facebook.

The company says it has introduced a number of programs that Uber executives hope will help increase diversity among its employees but also retain those diverse employees that are already there. That includes working with outside consultants to reword job descriptions so they are more inclusive, funding groups that aim to bring more underrepresented groups into tech like BUILD, and Girls Who Code, and create a diversity advisory council made up of both employees and “industry leaders.”

When asked what the company has done to diagnose and find ways to rectify the lack of representation of black and Latinx employees specifically, a spokesperson referred Recode back to the above programs and efforts. That said, Lee, who as Recode first reported just started in January, recently wrote that she is working to understand the underlying causes of exclusion at Uber.

This article originally appeared on

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