Welcome back to Human Capital, where I break down the latest in diversity, equity and inclusion, and labor in tech.
TL;DR: This week, Apple announced its third head of diversity and inclusion in four years, Uber’s Black employee base shrunk despite the company committing to anti-racism and Reddit brought on its second Black board member this year.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s content moderators spoke out against the company for forcing some of them to work in the office during a pandemic and a new report from Silicon Valley Rising showed 63% of blue-collar tech workers are Black or Latinx.
Uber’s D&I efforts fall short this year
Uber recently released its latest diversity report, showing a decline in the overall representation of Black employees in the U.S. despite an increased focus on racial justice this year in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd. In 2019, Uber was 9.3% Black while this year, only 7.5% of its employees are Black.
Uber attributes the decline in Black employees to its layoffs earlier this year, where about 40% of its employees in community operations were laid off, Uber Chief Diversity Officer Bo Young Lee told TechCrunch.
“As a company that has so publicly stated its stance on anti-racism, that’s not acceptable,” she said.
That unintentional decline in the Black population at Uber “led to a lot of soul searching,” she said. “Dara was certainly upset by it. Every leader was. It reinforced how easy it is to lose some ground after all the work you’ve done.”