SAN FRANCISCO — In its efforts to become a more diverse company, Dropbox is taking one step forward and two steps back. The cloud-storage company Thursday released its 2015 diversity report, which showed a 2 percentage-point drop in the representation of women in its workforce.
Dropbox's workforce is even more male than before, with 68 percent of staff men, up from 66 percent in 2014. However, the company did show gains for Hispanics, up to 5 percent from 4 percent in 2014, and African-Americans, up to 2 percent from 1 percent the year prior.
"Anyone who’s tried moving the needle on diversity knows that quick fixes don’t go far. It’s not just a pipeline issue, or a hiring issue, or a cultural issue — it’s all of these and more," CEO Drew Houston said in a post. "Even the smallest inequities and biases compound over time into enormous disparities."
Dropbox has 1,500 employees, according to USA Today. By those figures and the latest report, Dropbox employs 75 Hispanics and just 30 African-Americans. "I wouldn't give us any awards," Houston told USA Today, but "we are happy about the trajectory."
The company also formally announced the appointment of Judith Williams as its head of diversity, as was originally reported by International Business Times in October. The company says its representation of female vice presidents is now at 25 percent, but Dropbox failed to provide a comparison figure for 2014.
The report is the first one released by Dropbox since former employee Angelica Coleman spoke out to IBT about her time at the cloud-storage company and detailed a culture that presented numerous hurdles for women and people of color. At one point, the African-American woman was told by a fellow employee that "Black people get shot and killed every day — it's not that big of a deal."
Aside from showing regression with women and minor progress with minorities, Dropbox did not outline any new strategies for achieving diversity or improved inclusion in its workforce. The company also did not provide any specifics or clear goals for its diversity efforts in 2015, as has become the norm with companies like Pinterest, Yelp and Twitter.
"We know we have to do a lot better," Williams said. "Our goal is to continue to increase the number of women and underrepresented minority applicants in our pipeline and make sure we remove any biases in the hiring process."
Asked why the company did not set specific goals for 2016 or outline new initiatives, a Dropbox spokeswoman told IBT that the company did not "have anything further to share."
Civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who has long been a proponent of tech diversity, said companies like Dropbox will not see progress without giving themselves firm objectives.
"Without setting clear goals and timetables there is no framework to measure progress -- or the lack of it -- and there is a lack of accountability," Jackson said.