Pandora Reveals Most Promising Diversity Numbers Yet

Pandora has become the latest Bay Area tech firm to disclose their diversity data. And of all the companies to release their numbers thus far, the pioneering music streaming and recommendation company is the first to reveal itself to be virtually equal parts male and female, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Pandora, a company of 1,300, said its U.S. employees are 71% white, 12% Asian, 7% Hispanic, and 3% black. Its global workforce is 51% male and 49% female. Pandora said its gender data is global but its race data pertains to U.S. employees because some nations don't allow employers to ask workers to report their ethnicity.

As with many tech companies, Pandora's leadership is even less diverse, with 85% of executives white, 6% Hispanic, 6% Asian and 1% black. Pandora's leadership is 61% male and 39% female.

When it comes to ethnic diversity, Pandora's numbers reflect the industry's disappointing track record of being predominately white. Rev. Jesse Jackson, who has recently begun pressuring the Obama administration to "scrutinize" Silicon Valley's concerning diversity statistics, praised Pandora's transparency but criticized its lack of inclusion:

Pandora is based in Oakland, the "rainbow" city of the West Coast, with a mixed African American, Latino, Asian and white population, and a proud music and digital arts tradition. Significantly Pandora chose to base its headquarters here, and build a company that reflects this community. As your workforce is 75% non-tech, there should be a strong pathway and few impediments to identifying and employing qualified Blacks and Latinos from the local community and around the country so Pandora can reflect its user and consumer base.

Pandora's founder Tim Westergren acknowledges the company is "far, far from perfect." In a blog post for LinkedIn, Westergren promised that Pandora would begin "looking outside our employee referral pool and recruiting from communities that have historically been marginalized in the tech sector."

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