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Yahoo's Diversity Record Is Almost As Bad As Google's 435

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the hiring-bias dept.
theodp (442580) writes Comparing Yahoo's diversity numbers to Google's, writes Valleywag's Nitasha Tiku, is "like comparing rotten apples to rotten oranges." Two weeks after Google disclosed it wasn't "where we want to be" with its 17% female and 1% Black U.S. tech workforce, Yahoo revealed its diversity numbers aren't that much better than Google's, with a U.S. tech workforce that's 35% female and 1% Black. The charts released by Yahoo indicate women fare worse in its global tech workforce, only 15% of which is female. So, with Google and Yahoo having checked in, isn't it about time for U.S. workforce expert Mark Zuckerberg and company to stop taking the Fifth and ante up numbers to show students what kind of opportunities Facebook offers?
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Yahoo's Diversity Record Is Almost As Bad As Google's

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  • by headkase (533448) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @08:58AM (#47261725)

    I thought that competitive business was supposed to hire the most qualified and motivated candidates? Seriously, get out there, carve out your own space, and get hired! "Diversity" is just a politically correct buzzword and is not guaranteed to lead to an agile workforce..

    • by MRe_nl (306212) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:34AM (#47262009)

      The problem is that most of the factors in achieving and maintaining qualification and motivation, after lots of research, appear to be societal and economical. Therefore we are not getting the most qualified and motivated but a small sub-set of that group (white males) and standards could be raised if we could choose from a larger set. "Carve out your own space and get hired" is simply a gross over-simplification of the situation. Lack in basic nutrition, healthcare, education, credit, role-models and many other factors and their interplay might be a factor perhaps?

    • by Calsar (1166209) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:56AM (#47262229) Homepage

      66% of Computer Science graduates are white, 15% Asian, 3% black, and 5% Hispanic. I'm surprised they have such a high percentage of Asian workers. Of course 60% of students graduating with master's degrees in computer science aren't Americans so maybe that's where they are coming from. Also 80% of Computer Science graduates are male and 20% are female, so it's not surprising that tech companies have primarily male workers.

      http://cra.org/uploads/documen... [cra.org]

      • by magarity (164372)

        I'm surprised they have such a high percentage of Asian

        It stops being surprising when you remember that Asia includes India.

  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot AT keirstead DOT org> on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @08:58AM (#47261727) Homepage

    The charts released by Yahoo indicate women fare worse in its global tech workforce...

    They indicate nothing of the sort. They indicate that Yahoo has fewer female workers than male workers. That is it.

    Insinuating that female workers "fare worse" at Yahoo is akin to insinuating that there is rampant sexism and a glass ceiling going on there, which is most likely simply untrue. The truth is that there are simply fewer females applying for positions because there are fewer female CS graduates, which is the ACTUAL fact.

    If you want more women in the tech workforce, you need to start at the source and graduate more first.

    The same thing can be said of blacks. Like it or not the amount of black CS engineers in Silicon Valley is very, very small. You can't artificially create diversity when none exists in the talent pool.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by war4peace (1628283)

      The IT company I work for is full of young, attractive women. They do a very good job in certain areas, such as handling financial contracts, customer calls, renewals, etc.
      Strictly from a development perspective, they simply might not be attracted/interested by that work type, although I personally knew a couple excellent female developers who work nearby.

    • by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:20AM (#47261895) Homepage

      According to this page: http://www.economicmodeling.co... [economicmodeling.com]
      At the very best, females make up 30.4% of IT graduates.
      The workforce is 35% female, so on average females are more likely to be hired for IT positions than men.

    • by sribe (304414)

      Insinuating that female workers "fare worse" at Yahoo is akin to insinuating that there is rampant sexism and a glass ceiling going on there, which is most likely simply untrue.

      Rampant sexism we don't actually know about, but there sure as shit is no "glass ceiling" at Yahoo ;-)

    • by T.E.D. (34228)

      The same thing can be said of blacks. Like it or not the amount of black CS engineers in Silicon Valley is very, very small. You can't artificially create diversity when none exists in the talent pool.

      That doesn't mean it isn't valuable to a company. In any good engineering company, all the best product ideas come from the engineers. That means the more your engineering workforce looks like your potential userbase, the better they are going to be able to serve their potential customers with their new products.

      Probably the majority of the users of the hotter social media tools are female. Now I will freely admit at age 47 with a wife and two girls, I don't understand women at all. Perhaps some men are b

      • Clearly it provides something for them that other platforms don't.

        "On Twitter, no one knows you can't write a long sentence correctly." (Sorry, couldn't resist. :-))

  • Availablility (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    We desperately want to hire people who are qualified. About half the the people we interviewed were either South or East Asian. One was African American, and she didn't know what multi-threaded processing was.
    • by Entropius (188861)

      How do you not know that when cellphones these days are advertised as having quad-core processors?

  • Just Maybe... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KermodeBear (738243) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:00AM (#47261745) Homepage

    Just maybe this has nothing to do with race or sexism and they just hired the best people they could find.

    Like a lot of people at Slashdot, I work in the IT industry too. Most of our people are male, and either Caucasian or Indian. Does that mean that the company I work for is part of some evil conspiracy to keep aphroditic purple martians out of the IT work force? Nope. We'd hire my dog if she was good at what needed to be done. Nobody cares what your body looks like as long as you're Nice and Competent. We simply don't get a lot of female, Chinese, Norwegian, Mexican, Brazilian, etc., people applying.

    Is that a problem? I don't think so. Maybe certain demographics - gasp - have a majority of their interests in other areas. There's far more female nurses in hospitals than male nurses and although I see it mentioned from time to time, I never see hospitals being excoriated and dragged over the coals because they don't have a 50% male nursing force. Basketball is dominated by people with dark skin and I don't see people complaining that the white guys are under-represented.

    This isn't any different. The opportunities are there. The education is available. Maybe certain demographics just aren't as interested in IT.

    You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

    • by NEDHead (1651195) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:08AM (#47261801)

      Most basketball players are tall also, which suggests a body image crisis in that industry.

    • by u38cg (607297)
      Does your company actually track applicants through to hiring to actually prove that women don't apply? Or is this something you just tell yourself to make y'all feel better?
      • by Wycliffe (116160)

        Does your company actually track applicants through to hiring to actually prove that women don't apply? Or is this something you just tell yourself to make y'all feel better?

        So are you implying that HR (which is many times heavily female) is intentionally dropping qualified female applicants based on race?
        I highly doubt this. We don't have an HR department so I see EVERY resume that applies to a position and 90% of them are male.
        This article makes it sound like google and yahoo are descriminating against females when in reality they have a higher percentage
        of female in their workforce than the percentage that are graduating from college with CS degrees which IMHO is pretty dar

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      There's far more female nurses in hospitals than male nurses

      There's plenty of opportunity for sexism before you even get to the hiring process. It's not necessarily the hospitals' fault, but it still affects the male-female balance in medicine [slate.com].

    • IT, at least if you listen to the media and the politicians, is currently one of the most important industries that the US has. While it may come down to preference, we don't want to have a culture that in some way discourages people who haven't historically had opportunity from one of the healthiest sectors of the economy. We have some pretty strong statistics that say something is going on here and that something is going on from middle school to end of career. What this means is we need to find out wh
  • by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:01AM (#47261749) Homepage

    Someone want to explain to me how it's "bad" that they hired people they deemed qualified for the job?

    Why would Google/Facebook/Yahoo or any other company be paying attention to the race, gender or religion when hiring? Doing so would be prejudicial...

  • If the most enlightened work places in the World are unable to diversify enough to satisfy the politically correct mob,

    is it not feasible quality candidates are unavailable in every spectrum?

    Everyone's special snowflake isn't qualified for every job in the market.

    • Most enlightened? Hahaha, Silly Valley employers are among the most discriminatory in the world! You just didn't notice because of the trendy offices and hipster glasses. They've created perfect '50s-style silent oppression in the HR department, as you have demonstrated.

      • by Xest (935314)

        I'm intrigued, care to elaborate?

        From what I've seen they seem to be some of the few companies willing to actively campaign for gay rights equality and so forth for example and they don't seem to have any qualms hiring people from different ethnicities overseas, and in fact have been campaigning for more.

        Is your suggestion that because the numbers aren't 50/50 that they're obviously discriminatory or something?

  • Equally Divided! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:07AM (#47261795)

    Here is a shocker maybe not enough women want to work in the Tech field? My wife thinks my job sounds horrible and she has no desire to bang away on a computer and thinks I'm crazy for doing it. Everyone seems to think everyone in the world is just like them and since they want to work in a field where you have very little interpersonal interaction that everyone would flock to that job. The same way I don't see a whole lot of men lining up to be elementary school teachers workers women as a whole don't seem as interested in working in the computer field as men. Can't men and women be different or does society now say all jobs must have break downs of people equal to the same population break down. Why can't we just say 100% of the people in working in tech companies are people and not say Women, Men, Asian, Black, White, Hispanic. Why can't we stop dividing people and treat them based on the individual qualities? If you want to work in tech great! if you don't great!

    High tech jobs aren't the best job ever for everyone so lets stop the false outrage that this particular line of work does not have equal population distribution unless we are going to do that for all jobs. Where is the outrage of HR professionals, teachers, carpenters or any other job category.

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:07AM (#47261799) Homepage

    How about unemployment rates for female and black tech workers?
    Given the outrage I would expect atleast 35% of the unemployed tech workers being female and atleast 1% being black,.

  • Should be "with a global overall workforce that's 37% female and U.S. tech workforce that's 1% Black."

  • The numbers might give the impression that Google and Yahoo are unfairly discriminating against blacks and women. To determine whether that's the case, I think you need to know two things:

    --Among Google and Yahoo employees, what percentage are black? What percentage are women?
    --Among CS graduates, what percentage are black? What percentage are women?

    (I'm simplifying here by assuming that every hire at Google and Yahoo is a CS graduate.)

    If the two sets of numbers differ significantly, then it could indica

    • by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:14AM (#47261843) Homepage

      Graduation rates do not indicate talent, skill or grades.

      Merely passing a course with a D average does not entitle you to a job at the biggest and most sought after IT companies in the world.

      • by kurisuto (165784)

        True, but the null hypothesis is that men and women are equally capable at CS, however you measure that. Likewise with whites and blacks. Unless there's data to indicate otherwise, I'm assuming that knowing somebody's race or sex doesn't tell you anything about how likely they are to be good at CS.

        • by neoform (551705)

          >I'm assuming that knowing somebody's race or sex doesn't tell you anything about how likely they are to be good at CS.

          Which is exactly why race and gender should not be considered when hiring, and why this story is garbage. Forcing diversity in the work-place directly implies prejudice on the part of those doing the hiring.

  • Sexism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MikeRT (947531) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:12AM (#47261831) Homepage

    Men, particularly blue collar men, have been disproportionately impacted by the bad economy. Where is the same level of enthusiasm about training blue collar men for an "exciting career as a nurse, nurse practitioner, etc.?" Those are high paying, skilled, wildly disproportionately female-dominated positions. They could easily accommodate an influx of men. There is also a true shortage of qualified people, unlike in computer-related fields. Why no interest? Because if we suddenly gave men the opportunity and incentive (ex aggressive recruiting, preferential college admission, etc. ) to pursue those fields, a lot of women might be pushed out and that'd be "sexist."

    • Re:Sexism (Score:4, Informative)

      by AthanasiusKircher (1333179) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @10:56AM (#47262809)

      Where is the same level of enthusiasm about training blue collar men for an "exciting career as a nurse, nurse practitioner, etc.?" Those are high paying, skilled, wildly disproportionately female-dominated positions. They could easily accommodate an influx of men.

      Uh, there ARE significant initiatives to try to get men into nursing. The American Assembly for Men in Nursing [aamn.org] is an organization specifically dedicated to the cause. They even have a YouTube channel [youtube.com] dedicated to stories from male nurses trying to convince men to join up. They have a dedicated initative [collegexpress.com] to increase the number of male nurses by 20% by 2020 (the "20 X 20 Choose Nursing" campaign). And then there are other miscellaneous advertising campaigns, like the "Are you man enough to be a nurse?" posters [oregoncent...ursing.org].

      Why no interest? Because if we suddenly gave men the opportunity and incentive (ex aggressive recruiting, preferential college admission, etc. ) to pursue those fields, a lot of women might be pushed out and that'd be "sexist."

      Uh, no. The main difficulty in recruiting male nurses has to do with stereotypes of the type of caregiving differences [huffingtonpost.com] between doctors and nurses. (If you want even more info, here's a whole Powerpoint presentation [aamn.org] from the AAMN about the various issues involved in recruiting men.)

      LOTS of organizations are actively trying to get more men into the nursing profession. Because of social stereotypes, though, most men aren't interested in trying. This has nothing to do with "sexism" or trying to keep men out of the profession.

    • Re:Sexism (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Princeofcups (150855) <john@princeofcups.com> on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @10:58AM (#47262843) Homepage

      Men, particularly blue collar men, have been disproportionately impacted by the bad economy. Where is the same level of enthusiasm about training blue collar men for an "exciting career as a nurse, nurse practitioner, etc.?" Those are high paying, skilled, wildly disproportionately female-dominated positions. They could easily accommodate an influx of men. There is also a true shortage of qualified people, unlike in computer-related fields. Why no interest? Because if we suddenly gave men the opportunity and incentive (ex aggressive recruiting, preferential college admission, etc. ) to pursue those fields, a lot of women might be pushed out and that'd be "sexist."

      No, because men in general do not want to be caretakers. Do you want to spend the rest of your life changing bed pans? I thought not. Women take these positions because they were taught to do so, instead of pursuing more lucrative medical technician or heaven forbid MD positions. I have several female friends and relatives who are MDs, and they will tell you about the obstacles put in their way since they weren't white males.

  • He'll release the Facebook stats if and when there's a compelling profit motive to do so, and not a minute sooner. And I don't hold that against him one bit.
  • I don't think that it has anything to do with sexism or anything else. There really is little or no employment discrimination going on. It is all based on who is skilled and qualified. I think it is due to the fact that certain demographic sections are just not as interested in IT work and they decide to go into another field. The only reason that we are seeing this pattern is because certain groups are more likely to decide one career path over another. And that is their right. So, why are we trying to fo

  • My company is pretty diverse, and we've been lucky to hire and retain quality people. However, we're small and relatively agile. Google and Yahoo are massive companies, and I'm afraid they will be too heavy-handed in their hiring, and just bring in "diversity" without verifying that they have the skills to do the job. It would be a disservice to those employees to inadvertently be set up for failure.
  • This is meaningless without knowing the gender/race ratios of suitable job applications.

    Although I have no evidence to prove this, from my own long experience in the software industry I strongly suspect that high tech companies are actually NOT giving people a harder time getting in the door because of their ethnicity or gender. I am far more inclined to believe that the numbers of different groups actually employed more closely reflect the ratios of suitable job applications received in the first place.

    If

  • by Andover Chick (1859494) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:35AM (#47262015)
    Sadly, as a woman who was strong in math throughout school, I know most women don't like math, engineering, or even working in the corporate world. It is all very well and good to pick out a few of Silicon Valley's richest firms and then criticize them for not employing enough females. But the more important question is why don't girls go into math/engineering majors in college? It is a load of crap to say the girls don't have enough encouragement to go into the sciences. Fact is many girls like literature, the arts, and humanities because those majors are fun. Girls also like degrees which lead to education and caring for others (i.e. healthcare), that siphons off even more intelligent females. Fact is rooms full of nerdy computer science guys would love a few more women in their midst so I seriously doubt Google/Yahoo/Facebook are discriminating.
  • "opportunities" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OpenYourEyes (563714) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:41AM (#47262073)
    I find the last line in the summary pretty... odd. Both Yahoo and Google in their reports make it pretty clear that there are plenty of opportunities for anyone who is interested in working for them. This isn't about opportunity - it's about outcome. In the interview that Google's Laszlo Bock did with PBS (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/googles-diversity-record-shows-women-minorities-left-behind/) he cites the example of hiring 50% of the Black CS PhD graduates in one year - one person. Both companies, and many more in the industry, are trying to fix the problem at where they see the source is - candidates not going into the programs that feed into the industry.
  • Is there any business or industry that has some kind of perfect mirroring of the broader ethnic and gender demographics between their own population and society at large -- and whose mirror is the same up and down the pay scale (ie, I wouldn't call some some factory with a big majority of blacks or hispanics on the factory floor and all white men in the office a good example)?

  • by OpenYourEyes (563714) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:48AM (#47262141)

    Several posts have said, essentially, "shouldn't you hire the best person for the job, ignoring everything else?"

    Thats what both Yahoo and Google are saying about why they want to hire a diverse workforce. Both of them realize that their clients and customers are a very diverse group of people, and they hope that by hiring a diverse group as well, they can better create products to meet a diverse set of needs. You can argue that gender and skin color still aren't great ways to find a diverse set of perspectives, and you'd be right, but its one small tool in the arsenal.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @09:49AM (#47262145)
    Given that 39% of the US personnel are Asian and only 4.9% of the population, whites are under-represented. Of course this shows how silly the claim that the "diversity is flawed" are - the number of employees reflect the number of qualified applicants
  • My god this shit needs to stop. Affirmative action is just as ridiculous and hypocritical today as it was the day it was suggested. There is nothing to see here - Yahoo has a female CEO for crying out loud.
  • Always self-selecting. If we are to achieve diversity, the US state needs to drop the bourgeois freedom thing altogether, and simply assign its subjects into educational tracks and positions in public corporations.

  • by Rinikusu (28164) on Wednesday June 18, 2014 @10:17AM (#47262425)

    Back when the hot girl only sits behind the nerd when she needs to cheat off my exam, and me, being all too eager to comply because girls just never gave me the time of day.

    Seriously, the IT field is getting flooded with the "bullying" types, from both the bros and the hos that claim to hate them. Traditionally, engineering and the bookish, eager to work with one another and do cool shit, we're now infiltrated by assholes and douchebags of both sexes taking advantage of those who are less socially integrated. You can't go a day without reading about some Silicon Valley "magnate" who wouldn't rate a 3 on a 10 point geekscale making some bone-headed, wrong-sided statement, and then the 15 articles about how Silicon Valley is some sort of boys club written by people who couldn't spell Javascript, much less write any.

    And we've let them. Geeks, long the whipping boy of the popular, buying into this whole alpha male bullshit. Jesus fucking christ, guys, your Silicon Valley heroes? They're *salesmen*, not geeks. Wolves in sheep's clothing. They talk the talk, because that's what they're good at. Give them an editor and what do they produce?

    They're preying upon you (us). They want you to doubt yourself because that's what you do best. Your insecurity is their lock on you, whether that be "come on bro, are you cool enough to hang with the jocks?" or the "come on, geek, I'm pretty, I bat my eyelids and you go fetch." Think for yourselves.

  • If Yahoo's tech work force is really 35% female, that's astoundingly high, far higher than anywhere I've seen in my 25 years in the industry. More tellingly, it's about double the percentage of female CS grads, which says that Yahoo has managed to draw a far higher share of female software engineers than the average in the industry (Google's percentage of female engineers is in line with the CS graduate numbers).

    I really don't think there's any sexism on the part of the companies here. I know Google is trying hard to recruit, hire retain and promote more women and minorities, and not just for the sake of political correctness (I work for Google). Google's numbers, as well as those from other studies around the industry, show that diverse teams are more effective, more creative and more efficient. Diversity has non-trivial value to the business, and the companies would like more.

    • by JustNiz (692889)

      You said:
      I really don't think there's any sexism on the part of the companies here.
      Wrong.
      You yourself pointed out that Yahoo are running upto double the percentage of females than even graduate, and that Google are actively trying hard to recruit, hire retain and promote more women and minorities.

      Sorry but being biassed pro-female and pro-minority is not only sexist/racist, but is actually illegal according to USC 2000e-2.

  • 42 USC 2000e-2 flatly prohibits US employers from:
    "limit[ing], segregat[ing], or classify[ing] his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin."

    Note the repeated use of the word ANY in the statute--often "overlooked" in the name of so-called "diversity." Those factors cannot be used t

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