Amid turmoil, Uber releases first diversity report

Arianna Huffington: Sexual harassment 'not a systemic problem' at Uber
Arianna Huffington: Sexual harassment 'not a systemic problem' at Uber

Uber is making good on its pledge to be more transparent about its workforce.

On Tuesday, the company released its first ever diversity report. Unsurprisingly, it revealed that female techies aren't the standard at the firm: Just 15% of its technical workers are women.

That's the same percentage as Twitter (TWTR, Tech30), but smaller than Facebook (FB, Tech30) (17%) and Slack (24%).

Uber's culture -- and its treatment of female employees -- has been in the spotlight after a former female engineer alleged sexism and harassment at the company last month.

The allegations prompted CEO Travis Kalanick to call for an "urgent investigation." He hired former attorney general Eric Holder to lead the investigation, which is expected to conclude at the end of April.

But that's far from the only damning headline the company has faced recently. Google's Waymo is suing Uber for allegedly stealing self-driving car trade secrets, and several high level executives have departed in the last few weeks. There have also been reports of questionable behavior from Kalanick, from arguing with a driver about the company's fares to allegedly visiting an escort-karaoke bar in Seoul in 2014 with Uber staff.

The company has been working in overdrive to paint itself as a equitable, inviting place for people of all backgrounds to work.

Related: Arianna Huffington: Sexual harassment isn't a 'systemic problem' at Uber

In a conference call last week with reporters, board member Arianna Huffington, human resources head Liane Hornsby and U.S. General Manager Rachel Holt took the helm. When asked by two reporters why only women were representing Uber on the call, Huffington said, "I think we should take it as a really good sign of how women are valued at the highest levels of Uber."

But numbers talk, too.

According to the report, which is based on data through March, just 22% of Uber's overall leadership positions are held by women. When it comes to technical leadership roles, that percentage is halved.

But Uber's demographics aren't far off from other tech companies. In fact, in some cases, it fares better.

36% of its 12,000 global employees are women, compared to 33% of Facebook's 17,000 employees. (The figures don't include drivers, who are contract workers.) Uber's numbers are buoyed by its foreign operations, where women make up a slightly bigger sliver of its workforce compared to its U.S. and Canada operations.

When it comes to ethnic diversity, Uber has zero technical leaders who are black or Hispanic. That's only bumped up slightly when looking at non-technical leadership positions: (3.7% are black and and 1.2% Hispanic). However, the report noted that in the last 12 months, it's increased its hiring of black and Hispanic employees.

Last week, Kalanick met with civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson to discuss diversity. Uber has also pledged $3 million over the next three years to organizations helping women and underrepresented groups in tech.

Related: Uber investors blast company culture

"I know that we have been too slow in publishing our numbers -- and that the best way to demonstrate our commitment to change is through transparency," Kalanick said in a statement on Tuesday. "And to make progress, it's important we measure what matters."

On its diversity page, where it published the report Tuesday, Uber lists its various employee resource groups. They include "Shalom," a group for "connecting Uberettos and Jewbers from all backgrounds" and "UberHue," its black employee resource group.

In addition to its gender and ethnic stats, Uber disclosed that 15% of its U.S. employees hold a work visa, and come from 71 countries.

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