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Preppally | Career Guidance | Find a job at a tech company
Preppally | Career Guidance | Jeroen De Koninck | Founder

Written by Jeroen
Founder Preppally
May, 24, 2022

Diversity in big tech: winners, losers and opportunities

Diversity in big tech: leaders, followers and opportunities

Tech companies are known for setting the bar when it comes to diversity recruitment but the progress is low. While these companies traditionally have a strategy about DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) or DIBS (Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging) they are still struggling to obtain the targets they have outlined for themselves. In this article we cover the leaders, followers and opportunities.

Diversity matters, period.

Diversity matters, period. (Yes, we will repeat it over and over for you).

Diversity has a positive influence on society – which we consider a given fact in this article (and you should agree). Still the positive impact on ‘business results’ might be less clear, so allows us to help you:

  • Studies show that inclusive teams make better business decisions up to 87% of the time
  • When creating more diverse teams, companies will increase the company’s understanding of their target customers by 158%. This leads to more inclusive designs, processes and communication
  • Better decisions and better understanding clients leads to an increase by 15% – 35% in terms of productivity
  • Higher productivity and better understanding clients leads to 38% more revenue

This is a very minimised and non-exhaustive representation of all the positive impact a diverse and inclusive hiring and people strategy can have on a company. The companies understand this. They understand diversity is crucial to enable them to outperform their peers.

They understand diversity matters, period.

Cloverpop Infographic Diversity

87% of the time better decisions with more diverse teams
Infographic by Cloverpop

Preppally | Blog | Future state of diversity

The future state of Diversity

It should not come as a surprise that diversity, equity and inclusion is high on the agenda for both big and small tech companies. Almost all the companies are setting diversity targets for the near and the longer future.

Sundar (CEO, Google) has set a target to have at least 30% of Google’s leadership come from underrepresented groups.

Satya (CEO, Microsoft) wants to double the number of Black and African American and Hispanic and Latinx people managers, senior individual contributors and senior leaders in the U.S by 2025.

‘Smaller companies’ are following in line. Snap’s main pillars are to inspire empathy, redesign systems, and drive accountability which had the goal to make their recruitment less biased, their development more equative and their products more inclusive.

Preppally | Blog | Future state of diversity
Preppally | Blog | Reality of diversity

The reality of diversity

EnGadget headlined in April 2021 an article with: “Snap‘s latest diversity numbers are almost unchanged from last year” and The Verge took Google under the loop: “Google’s latest diversity report shows jump in departures among women of color”. The struggle is real.

With headlines from tech companies being different and almost contradictory to the ones above , I wanted to understand how much of the headlines were potentially fabricated by marketing and public relations. Time for my own due diligence. Over the past months, I have been reading the diversity, equity and inclusion reports from over 10 companies, distilling the numbers in the reports and comparing these with the same reports they published 3 years ago*.

Here you can find my findings.

* The findings look at the 2020 results of the companies as some 2021 results are yet to be published. The look back window is 2017. The number of employees are global numbers of employees in a corporate position (white collar). All other numbers are U.S.

Preppally | Blog | Reality of diversity

Diversity: Leaders and Followers

Diversity numbers in 2020

In order to evaluate the 2020 (current) state of the companies, we looked at the gender split between men and women. Pinterest is leading the way with a 51% (men) and 49% (women) representation. While Microsoft is the most male dominant company (71.3%) of the 7 companies we have analysed with a vast majority being male.

Gender diversity by company

GenderPreppally | Diversity Numbers GooglePreppally | Diversity Numbers MicrosoftPreppally | Diversity Numbers ApplePreppally | Diversity Numbers AmazonPreppally | Diversity Numbers MetaPreppally | Diversity Numbers PinterestPreppally | Diversity Numbers SnapInc
Men68%71.3%66.0%68.6%63.0%51.0%67.0%
Women32%28.6%34.0%31.4%37.0%49.0%33.0%

* The findings look at the reported data by Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Meta, Pinterest and Snap Inc.. There was only gender data available for men and women. The numbers were reported by these companies in 2020.

Ethnicity diversity by company

Next to this, we looked at the split in terms of ethnicity: White+, Asian+, Hispanic+/Latinx+, Black+ and a consolidation of others containing Multiracial, Native American, Middle East, Arab,..):

EthnicityPreppally | Diversity Numbers GooglePreppally | Diversity Numbers MicrosoftPreppally | Diversity Numbers ApplePreppally | Diversity Numbers AmazonPreppally | Diversity Numbers MetaPreppally | Diversity Numbers PinterestPreppally | Diversity Numbers SnapInc
White+51.7%50.2%47.0%47.0%41.0%43.0%47.0%
Asian+41.9%34.7%27.0%34.8%44.4%44.0%34.3%
Hispanic+/Latinx+5.9%6.6%14.0%7.5%6.3%7.0%6.3%
Black+3.7%4.9%9.0%7.2%3.9%5.0%4.9%
Other0.8%3.0%4.0%3.5%4.4%2.0%7.5%

Diversity progress between 2017 and 2020

More importantly we want to understand the progress that has been made over the course of the past years. Diversity, equity and inclusion is no new topic on the agenda of tech companies. Many companies have put diversity as one of their main priorities over the course of the past decade and tremendous efforts have been made.

Still we see companies* are struggling to move the needle. There is no doubt diversity tops the agenda of all of these organisations, but the public headlines are definitely more a fabrication of public relationships and marketing than representing reality.

I can imagine the internal slides look more in line with: “We want to get X to Y by doing Z. But we struggle.” Overall we see there was a slight increase in the representation of women with 1.89% over the course of the past three years, but there is still a tremendous amount of work to do.

GenderAverage (2017)Average (2020)Evolution (2017 – 2020)
Men69.82%67.93%-1.92%
Women30.18%32.07%1.89%

* The findings look at the reported data by Google, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook (Meta). There was only gender data available for men and women. The numbers compare the reported numbers by these companies (consolidated) in 2017 and 2020.

For the same companies we also looked at the evolution in representation of different ethnicity groups and the evolution between 2017 and 2020:

EthnicityAverage (2017)Average (2020)Evolution (2017 – 2020)
White+55.15%48.36%-6.8%
Asian+29.31%35.28%5.97%
Hispanic+/Latinx+7.93%8.30%0.38%
Black+5.15%5.42%0.27%
Other2.46%2.63%0.18%

* The findings look at the reported data by Google, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook (Meta). The numbers compare the reported numbers by these companies (consolidated) in 2017 and 2020.

Diversity: the opportunity ahead

The real opportunity for diversity is ahead of us. The benefits are clear for both society and organisations. It’s time to carry out our promises, to put words into action.

Next to creating awareness, they are responsible to lead by example. They are in need for a diverse recruitment strategy, that starts a long time before people apply for a job – in order to reach the communities that would never apply in the first place. This will allow them to reach and hire more diverse individuals.

On top of this, they need to be able to sustain and nurture diverse talent within their own organisation by creating an inclusive environment with opportunity for growth.

While change takes time, it’s imminent that companies have to get involved earlier on in order to bring opportunities, information and interest, providing those in need with the equity they deserve (providing equal access).

Diversity matters. Equity matters. Inclusion matters. Period.

Written by Jeroen & Miher
Founder Preppally
May, 24, 2022

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2023-01-04T22:48:09+01:00
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