Uber released their diversity report and . . . surprise! They're not that diverse.
What were we all expecting? After allegations of sexual harassment a few weeks ago and the release of their diversity numbers, all we've learned is that Uber is just like a lot of other tech companies . . . mostly male, white and sexist with no real plan for dealing with it.
I know that sounds harsh and I don’t intend to bash Uber or any of the other companies that can't seem to figure this out, but I am tired of hearing about it. Why track it if you don't have a plan to address it? Why issue half-hearted apologies for bad behavior? If this is who you are, own it.
The lack of diversity in tech is not because women and underrepresented minorities aren’t smart enough to work in tech. It’s not because we don’t want to work in tech. It’s because you have shown us who you are and we don't like what we see.
We have zero desire to work in an environment where we have to work twice as hard for our achievements to be recognized, be passed over for promotions and be harassed and paid less while doing it.
Diversity is not complicated.
I believe the solution is actually quite simple. But it's not easy.
The solution requires us to let go of our preconceived notions, to restore humanity to our dealings with others and to respect everyone around us. Period.
I talk about becoming an employer of choice in my course on diversity recruiting and I think it’s an important distinction for companies to pay attention to. Candidates have choices. And those choices are steadily improving. You can’t possibly hope to change the tide of diversity if you don’t actively seek out AND welcome women and underrepresented minorities into your workforce.
Ask yourself, why would a candidate choose to work here? Why are we attractive to them? What are their advancement prospects? Have we promoted a woman recently? More than one? Is our work environment truly inclusive? Are there salary discrepancies and what do you plan to do about it?
I happen to know a couple of people who work at Uber and I have it on good authority that the working environment is not good, despite their reports. Maybe if companies focus on treating people better, and fairly, their reputation in the marketplace would reflect that, and eventually, so will the diversity reports.