Uber Releases Report on Diversity, Revealing Company Has Very Little Of It


    The average American drives 29.2 miles a day, but if you live in an area that’s covered by ride-sharing platforms like Uber and Lyft, you might end up driving less — if you aren’t African American. These companies have recently come under fire for racist practices among their drivers, and in the fall of 2016, a study was released that showed black passengers were more likely to have their rides delayed or canceled than white passengers. Now, a recently released diversity report from Uber shows that the company has failed to address issues of inclusivity on its own team.

    Across the U.S., there are 21.1 million firms without employees, meaning that they’re either run by self-employed professionals or work only with independent contractors. Although Uber’s current business model depends on its contracted drivers, they do have full-time employees, mostly in the tech sector and in leadership positions within the company.

    However, according to the report, the majority of those positions are held by white or Asian men.

    Uber has 12,000 employees worldwide, and 63.9% are men. Almost 50% of Uber’s entire U.S. workforce is white, as is 46.2% of employees in technical roles. Asian employees make up 30.9% of the total workforce, representing 47.9% of technical positions within the company. Black employees represent only 8.8% of their worldwide workforce, with 1% in their technical sector. Hispanic employees make up just 5.6% of Uber’s workers and 2% of their technical roles.

    In addition to the obvious racial disparities within the company, Uber has also been plagued with reports of sexism and sexual harassment. The report does very little to oppose the company’s critics. Women were found to represent 36.1% of Uber’s worldwide workforce; of U.S. and Canadian employees, women make up 32.9%. However, they hold only 15.4% of technical positions within the company. And since 78% of Uber’s leadership team is male, women aren’t being given much of a chance there, either.

    The majority of Uber’s female employees seem to be in customer service, where 49.7% of their representatives are women, and in city-based operations, where 43.6% of their staffers are female.

    Uber isn’t alone, though. These trends are actually common among other tech companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook. But those three companies did fare better than Uber, as did Airbnb. Google reported that 19% of its female employees held tech roles, and 17% of Facebook’s tech positions are held by women. Airbnb comes out on top, with 26% of its tech roles being held by female employees.

    The report was finally published after Uber CEO Travis Kalanick relented to pressure to release employee numbers.

    In a statement, Kalanick said, “This report is a first step in showing that diversity and inclusion is a priority at Uber. I know that we have been too slow in publishing our numbers — and that the best way to demonstrate our commitment to change is through transparency. And to make progress, it’s important we measure what matters.”

    Uber has added that the numbers in the report do reflect gradual improvement throughout the company. They’ve also pledged to donate $3 million to groups that promote diversity in the tech center. Uber also says it intends to focus their recruiting efforts on academic institutions that specifically serve the African American and Hispanic communities.