Silicon Valley has traditionally fought off questions about the diversity of its workers, even claiming the numbers were a "trade secret." But following Google's lead, Yahoo revealed for the first time ever that its global workforce is 37 percent female.
That's 7 percent more than Google, which acknowledged that 30 percent of its global employees were women only after Reverend Jesse Jackson showed up at a board meeting to pressure the $366 billion company.
However, Google came out ahead (by a hair) when it comes to technical employees: 15 percent of Yahoo's technical employees are women; at Google, it's 17 percent. Google has 46,170 workers to Yahoo's 12,400, so to be fair, it's like comparing rotten apples to rotten oranges. (Here's Yahoo's full report.)
When it comes to race and ethnicity, both companies are about 90 percent White or Asian. Yahoo's U.S. workforce is 2 percent Black, 4 percent Hispanic, 39 percent Asian, and 50 percent White. Google's American employees were 2 percent Black, 3 percent Hispanic, 30 percent Asian, and 61 percent white.
Yahoo did offer one telling metric that Google skipped: 77 percent of its leaders (people who hold positions at the Vice President level or higher) are men.
Progress is incremental, but its happening. The fact that Yahoo and Google felt forced to share these numbers is a victory for advocates who argue that its in Silicon Valley's best financial interest to follow the same logic as their startups and adapt.
Yahoo also took another step toward equal opportunity. They didn't use Google's excuse that fewer women study computer science in college. I guess Marissa Mayer got the memo that multi-billion companies have the power to change that.
To contact the author of this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Image via Getty]