Twitter released its staff diversity numbers to the public Wednesday, but before you go lauding the company for such transparency, it’s worth noting Twitter didn’t act of its own accord. It caved to pressure from Reverend Jesse Jackson and activist organizations ColorofChange and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Furthermore, it’s one of the last consumer web companies to publish its diversity numbers, given that Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and LinkedIn released theirs in the past month.
Twitter also picked a particularly opportune time to publish the unflattering information: During Facebook’s second quarter earnings release. With the eyes of the internet turned towards its biggest rival, perhaps Twitter was hoping to bury its dirty diversity laundry.
The numbers, although unsurprising, are staggering. They show the company is largely made up of white men, with the second largest ethnicity — Asian — representing 29 percent. But black, Native American, Latino, and Pacific Islander races are woefully underrepresented, making up less than 12 percent of the company collectively.
The male to female ratio was equally atrocious, with only 30 percent of Twitter’s employees women.
“[L]ike our peers, we have a lot of work to do,” Twitter’s VP of Diversity said in the blog post. Perhaps the company could start by cutting the sneakiness when confessing its failures to the public.