'Diverse' Twitter has mere 49 African Americans employees out of 2,910

Washington DC, 2 July : Companies like Twitter though claim to pledge diversity, have only a mere number of African Americans employees, and exploit the large base of minority users for ad revenue, claimed Rev Jesse Jackson.

President of the Rainbow/Push Coalition, who has campaigned for tech companies to be more transparent about their lack of minority employees, told the Guardian that black people were "becoming intolerant" of Facebook and other Silicon Valley companies' lack of progress in making their offices more diverse.

Twitter's vice-president of diversity and inclusion, Janet Van Huysse, had made promises to "build a Twitter we can be proud of" last year, saying that they were committed to make inclusiveness a cornerstone of their culture.

Twitter had also released brief statistics about its employees' ethnicity at the time, which showed that 93.8 percent of employees were white or Asian, with just 180 people out of a total workforce of 2,910 being drawn from other minorities.

The company has only a tiny number of 49 black, comprising of 35 men and 14 women, which accounts for only 1.7 percent of the company's US staff.

The 73-year-old civil rights activist said that he was disappointed as black people used the product more and were greatly capable of doing the jobs, however, an adequate commitment to hire, train and maintain the minorities have been lacking.

Arisha Hatch, managing director at Color of Change, too added that Twitter and other tech companies had "really failed" in their attempts to make their workforces better reflect their customers.

Meanwhile, a Twitter spokeswoman said that the company's ethnic make-up had changed since the 2014 filing, but refused to provide any more up to date figures. She said a fresh EEO report would be filled "sometime this year".

She also pointed out that Twitter has set up six employee groups to promote diversity: Blackbirds (African diaspora), Alas (Latino and Latin American descent), Swat (Super Women at Twitter), WomEng (women in engineering), TwitterOpen (LGBTQA) and WomenUX (women in design).

However, while the Blackbirds Twitter account has just 2,766 followers, The Alas account has even fewer followers at 659.

Twitter also lacks gender diversity, with its workforce being 70 percent male.

It s the same story with other Silicon Valley tech firms, as only two percent of Facebook's staff are black, four percent hispanic, 3 percent of "two or more races". Fifty-five per cent are white and 36 percent Asian.

Google has only two percent black and 3 percent Hispanic employees, with 60 percent being white and 31 percent Asian. Seven out of 10 Googlers are male. (ANI)

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