Does Yahoo Actually Employ Many Women?

by Alicia Lu

Following in the steps of Google and LinkedIn, Yahoo released its first diversity report Tuesday. And despite its female CEO, Marissa Mayer, the company's global work force remains... predominantly male. In terms of ethnicity, although a decent chunk of Yahoo's staff is non-white, the company is a long way from being truly diverse. Just like everybody else in Silicon Valley. Basically, Yahoo is run by white and Asian men. "Wow, I'm really surprised by these Yahoo statistics," said nobody.

In spite of its overwhelmingly male staff, Yahoo has a solid track record of appointing females at the very top. Current president and CEO Mayer started her position in July 2012. Prior to Mayer, Carol Bartz was CEO from 2009 to 2011, and long-time CFO Susan Decker became president of the company for two years before resigning in 2009.

Even with a history of female rein-holders at Yahoo, the tech company can't avoid resembling its Silicon Valley contemporaries in its overall employee makeup. In most of these companies, white and Asian males dominate the tech and leadership roles, while other ethnic minorities are significantly underrepresented and women are relegated to non-technical and non-leadership positions.

In a statement that accompanied the report, the company said:

These statistics are only a part of the story — Yahoo works to ensure that our existing employees feel welcome and supported during their time at the company.
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Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of the report, keep these statistics in mind: According to the Census Bureau, the country's overall population is about 63% white, 17% Hispanic, 13% African-American, and 5% Asian. And according to the Labor Department, women make up 49% of the work force. Now we're ready to break down the biggest takeaways of Yahoo's diverse report.
  • 62 percent of Yahoo's global work force is male.
  • 85 percent of its technology staff is male.
  • 77 percent of leadership positions are filled by males.
  • 50 percent of Yahoo's U.S. employees overall are white.
  • 39 percent are Asian.
  • Only six percent are either Hispanic or black.
  • 57 percent of tech workers are Asian and 35 percent are white.
  • 78 percent of leadership roles belong to white employees and 17 percent belong to Asian employees.
  • 63 percent of non-tech staff members are white while 24 percent are Asian.
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These statistics closely resemble those found in LinkedIn and Google's reports. Both companies are also predominantly comprised of white and Asian males. According to Breitbart, Google, where blacks and Hispanics make up just five percent of the work force, is working actively to resolve its diversity problem, donating $40 million since 2010 to organizations "working to bring computer science education to women and girls," and the company has been "working with historically black colleges and universities to elevate coursework and attendance in computer science."

It's unclear whether Yahoo will follow suit in upping its efforts to improve company diversity. For now, company executives are focusing on keeping the employees they do have happy: Jackie Reses, Yahoo's chief development officer, wrote in the blog post, "Overall, our goal at Yahoo is to create a workplace culture that attracts and retains all talents, regardless of background, and to help our people grow to their full potential."

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