Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies are releasing employment figures, which show an overwhelmingly male, white and Asian workforce. Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) released its employment data last month, followed by Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) and LinkedIn Corp. (NASDAQ:LNKD). However, the Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPO) and Intel Corp. (NASDAQ:INTC) have regularly given reports on their employment data for the past several years.
The numbers show that all five companies employ few black or Hispanic employees, a gap that grows when limited to engineering and management roles. The difference between the number of male and female employees at the companies illustrates a significant gender gap in Silicon Valley, which gets worse in jobs that require computer science degrees.
Google last month spoke with a number of female software developers at a conference in Boston, several of whom told International Business Times that the issue was partly rooted in the minority of women who are educated in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The amount of diversity at tech companies is improving, but much more slowly, when compared with other careers that were once primarily male-dominated, like those in law and medicine.
The figures also showed a significant disparity based on job types. Only 2 percent of women at Google, Intel and LinkedIn fulfill a role in middle management, whereas 16 percent of administrative support personnel were female. Likewise, while 57 percent of tech jobs at Yahoo were held by Asian employees, only 17 percent were involved in leadership or managerial roles.
Several Silicon Valley companies, like Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), refuse even to disclose their numbers. Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg called the lack of diversity in tech “depressing,” and she said the company would eventually release the data but declined to say when.