Uber Exec: White Men Need to ‘Make Noise’ About Diversity

Sara Ashley O'Brien, CNN, March 11, 2018

“I want white men to look around in their office and say, ‘Oh look, there’s a lot of white men here. Let’s change this,'” Saint John said at the SXSW festival on Sunday.

Saint John said the onus should not be on people of color to improve diversity at work: “Why do I — as the black woman — have to fix that? There’s 50 of you, there’s one of me. Ya’ll fix it. … Everybody else needs to make the noise — I want white men to make the noise.”

Saint John joined Uber last June {snip}. The company added a black female executive after being blasted for having a non-inclusive culture.


Uber, like most tech companies, is working to diversify its workforce. Its first diversity report, released in March 2017, showed that Uber had no technical leaders who are black or Hispanic. Among non-technical leadership positions, 3.7% were black and 1.2% were Hispanic.

However, the report noted that in the 12 months prior, Uber had increased its hiring of black and Hispanic employees.


One problem often cited for the lack of diversity is that the pipeline of candidates lacks enough women and minorities.


Saint John added it’s common for people to stick to what’s familiar, what makes them comfortable. As a result, they don’t seek people who don’t have similar backgrounds to or look like them, she said.


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