Only 10 percent of Twitter’s tech staff is female and 92 percent of the entire staff is either white or Asian.
After much pressure from civil rights organizations, Twitter released employee ethnic and gender diversity data on Wednesday. Company officials acknowledged that they "have a lot of work to do” to make the staff more diverse.
“We want to be more than a good business; we want to be a business that we are proud of,” Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Janet Van Huysse said in a statement.
On the subject of gender, 30 percent of the company’s total employees are female: In tech, only 10 percent are female; in leadership positions, just 21 percent.
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The company is even less diverse when it comes to race: 59 percent of Twitter's staff in the United States is white, 29 percent is Asian. African-Americans and Latinos make up only 5 percent combined.
"The numbers are pathetic but this is a step in the right direction," the Rev. Jesse Jackson told USA Today. His Rainbow PUSH Coalition has been pressuring Twitter to release the data, using a Twitter petition.
"There is no talent deficit, there's an opportunity deficit," Jackson said. "African Americans represent money, market, talent and location. No one should be locked out: when everyone is in, everyone wins."
The civil rights organization ColorofChange.org, which was also involved in the Twitter petition, wants to see a public forum where Twitter can share its plans to hire more black employees, according to USA Today.
Twitter listed several initiatives to diversify employee statistics in its statement but most of them focus on recruiting women or employees from the LGBT community.
“We are keenly aware that Twitter is part of an industry that is marked by dramatic imbalances in diversity,” Huysse said. “And we are no exception.”