Tech Roundup: Improving Uber’s Diversity and Culture


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Liane Hornsey, Uber’s chief human resources officer, was brought onboard to revamp the workplace processes and managerial styles at the company.

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Ryan Young for The New York Times

Uber released a report on Tuesday detailing the diversity of its work force. The numbers starkly show the lack of women and minorities at the ride-hailing company.

About two thirds of Uber’s employees are men. Of the company’s technology jobs, 85 percent are held by men. Half of the company’s workers in the United States are white.

These statistics are not surprising. Silicon Valley technology companies have long grappled with improving diversity. At Google, 69 percent of the overall work force is male; 81 percent of the company’s tech jobs are filled by men. In the United States, 59 percent of Google’s employees are white. The ratios are similar at Facebook, Apple and other tech companies.

The backdrop of Uber’s report is important to remember. The company is releasing diversity numbers for the first time as it faces tremendous pressure to revamp its workplace culture. Uber has faced criticism for an internal culture that promotes performance at all costs, and it has been accused of doing little to clamp down on sexual harassment.

Mike Isaac, a technology reporter at The New York Times, writes that Tuesday’s diversity report is just one step that Uber plans to take toward fixing its company culture.

“What has driven Uber to immense success — its aggressions, the hard-charging attitude — has toppled over,” Liane Hornsey, Uber’s human resources chief, told The Times. “And it needs to be shaved back.”

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