The Twitter and Google boy’s clubs

From PC Magazine: “Twitter’s global workforce is about as diverse as those of its big-name peers in the tech biz, which is to say, not very diverse at all. The microblogging site, following the lead of companies like Google and Yahoo, on Wednesday released some raw numbers about the gender and ethnic makeup of its roughly 3,000 employees. As with those companies, it turns out that Twitter’s workforce skews very heavily male and white.images

“To wit, Twitter’s workforce is 70 percent male and 30 percent female. That disparity grows even more pronounced in tech-related jobs at the company, which are held by nine times as many men as women, while leadership roles at Twitter come in at 79 percent for men and 21 percent for women.

“Google, which released its own diversity data in May, reported the same 70-to-30 ratio of men to women among its own roughly 52,000-strong workforce. Yahoo reported last month that the gender diversity among its more than 12,000 employees also skews male but not as much—the company’s worldwide workforce is 62 percent men and 37 percent women.
Facebook also recently released a breakdown of gender and ethnic diversity in its workforce, reporting similar numbers to Twitter, Google, and Yahoo.

“If gender disparities at Twitter and other Silicon Valley companies are striking, the lack of ethnic diversity at those outfits is just as pronounced, if not more so, going by the self-reported numbers.
Before Twitter joined the party, both Google and Yahoo reported that their workforces were predominantly white and Asian— 91 percent at Google (61 percent white, 30 percent Asian) and 89 percent at Yahoo (50 percent white, 39 percent Asian). African-Americans and Latinos combined to make up just 5 percent of the employees at Google and just 6 percent at Yahoo.
Twitter’s workforce came in at 59 percent white and 29 percent Asian, with African-Americans, Latinos, and people with other ethnicities representing just a fraction of those numbers.

“The current numbers may be stark, but Twitter, like Google and Yahoo before it, pledged to work to better diversify its workforce going forward.”[R]esearch shows that more diverse teams make better decisions, and companies with women in leadership roles produce better financial results. But we want to be more than a good business; we want to be a business that we are proud of,” Janet Van Huysse, vice president of Diversity and Inclusion at Twitter, wrote in a blog post.
“To that end, we are joining some peer companies by sharing our ethnic and gender diversity data. And like our peers, we have a lot of work to do.”Van Huysse didn’t lay out any specific plans for enacting more diverse hiring at Twitter but did list some “employee-led groups putting a ton of effort into the cause” at the company. These include affinity groups like WomEng (women in engineering), SWAT (super women at Twitter), TwUX (Twitter women in design), Blackbird (Tweeps of color), TwitterOpen (LGBTQ folks), and Alas (Latino and Latina employees), she said.”

 

More at: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2461300,00.asp

Why gender inequality persists

After two steps forward, we were unprepared for the abrupt slowdown on the road to gender equality. We can make sense of the current predicament, however — and gain a better sense of how to resume our forward motion — if we can grasp the forces that drove the change in the first place, state a piece in today’s New York Times

“It’s difficult to imagine (or remember) American women’s world in the early 1960s, described to chilling effect by Stephanie Coontz in “A Strange Stirring: ‘The Feminine Mystique’ and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s.” Women responding to sex-segregated help-wanted ads (including in The New York Times until 1968) faced rampant — and completely legal — employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age, motherhood, pregnancy and appearance. They faced obstacles obtaining loans or buying property without their husbands’ approval. Rape within marriage was not a crime, and domestic violence was just barely one. Divorce was relatively rare. Birth control was illegal in many places, and elective abortion was banned.

“Women organized against these injustices with increasing success in the 1970s, but one precondition for their gains was the postwar expansion of the market into new areas, especially education, health care, child care and other services. For women, that meant the monetization of fields of work that were traditionally their unpaid responsibility, spurring growth in jobs for which women were preferred and creating powerful incentives to enter the labor force. This in turn generated greater demand for services, from fast food to child care to couples therapy. In response to an upward spiral of employment opportunities, women pursued education in greater numbers, married later (if at all) and had fewer children.

“Rising demand in formerly male-dominated industries also drew women into the labor force. Consider the story of one woman whose working-class family did not expect her to pursue a career. With mediocre high school grades, she went to a community college. She decided to leave after a year to get a legal secretary certificate, which led to a law firm job, and finally a job as administrative assistant to a corporate executive, where she eventually earned about as much as her husband, an electrician. Continue reading “Why gender inequality persists”

Pay gap isn’t going away

Reports recently released by the American Association of University People indicate a gender pay gap not only still exists in the American workforce but often reveals itself the moment people accept their first job.

“People working full time one year after college graduation are paid an average of 18 percent less than people also working full time one year after receiving a bachelor’s degree, according to “Graduating to a Pay Gap.”images-3

“Some of the difference may be because many people pursue majors and enter careers that offer less pay. Some of it could be caused by varying levels of salary negotiation skills or other factors. But in many cases, the study suggests, part of the gap results from gender alone.

“So many times people hear about the overall pay gap and say ‘That’s because people are making different choices,'” said Christianne Corbett, AAUW senior researcher and one of the report’s authors. “We were really trying to get at a group that was as close to the same as possible right out of college … and we still found a gap.” Continue reading “Pay gap isn’t going away”