White, Asian Men Rule the Roost at Twitter

Elizabeth Weise and Jessica Guynn, USA Today, July 23, 2014

Succumbing to growing public pressure, Twitter released the gender and ethnic breakdown of its work force Wednesday, showing that it looks like most other major technology companies: overwhelming male, white and Asian.

In the U.S., nearly 90% of Twitter’s workers are white or Asian. And more than 90% of technology jobs in the U.S. are held by whites or Asians.

Men make up 70% of all staff but 90% of technology staff, according to figures released by the company’s vice president for diversity and inclusion, Janet Van Huysse.

Twitter pledged to take steps to diversify its staff.

“We want to be more than a good business; we want to be a business that we are proud of,” Huysse said.

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Of Twitter’s U.S. employees, 3% are Hispanic and 2% Black. Yet Blacks, Hispanics and Asian Americans account for 41% of U.S. users, making Twitter more racially diverse than any other social network, including Facebook.

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“The numbers are pathetic but this is a step in the right direction,” Rev. Jesse Jackson said in an interview Wednesday.

His Rainbow PUSH Coalition and the civil rights organization ColorofChange.org last week began campaigning on Twitter for the company to share demographic information and host a public forum on plans to increase the diversity of its staff. They gathered more than 25,000 signatures with an online petition.

Jackson called on Twitter to begin setting targets and a timetable.

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