When Uber let go of hundreds of staff as a part of pandemic-related layoffs earlier this yr, it led to a decline in general Black illustration inside its workforce. The corporate mentioned in its annual variety report on Friday.
Earlier this year, Uber (UBER) minimize about 25% of its workforce, or roughly 6,700 workers, because it grappled with the drastic decline in its ride-hail enterprise because of the coronavirus. These layoffs included hundreds of its buyer help workers, which resulted in a noticeable dent in Black illustration at Uber, underscoring how the various crew helped buoy the corporate’s general metric.
Uber reported a 1.Eight share level decline in Black illustration, which now makes up 7.5% of its general US workforce, down from 9.3% in 2019.
“Regardless of the continued progress we’ve got made in growing the variety of our management, we’re not pleased with the influence that this yr’s reorganization has had on a few of our workforce illustration,” mentioned Uber’s chief variety officer Bo Younger Lee in an announcement to CNN Enterprise. “We all know we should all the time work to go higher and stay laser targeted on changing into an anti-racist firm and a champion for fairness.”
Uber mentioned it took measures to mitigate bias in its downsizing efforts, noting that it had exterior counsel conduct an evaluation based mostly on protected lessons as a part of the method. When requested by CNN Enterprise, it declined to supply a racial or gender breakdown of the layoffs.
The corporate reported some modest progress in different areas, posting that illustration of girls and other people from underrepresented racial teams in management roles has elevated. Ladies in management rose to 32.4%, up from 28% one yr prior, in Uber’s international workforce; Black management within the US is as much as 4.1% from 3.3% — a step in the proper route in the direction of the corporate’s lately introduced aim to double illustration on this space by 2025. Hispanic/Latinx management can be as much as 3.8% from 2.7%.
Six years in the past, a wave of tech firms started offering information on the variety of their workforces. The knowledge, which had beforehand been saved intently guarded, was launched after elevated stress for transparency.
Uber’s first report got here in 2017, at a time when the corporate’s tradition and remedy of feminine workers were within the highlight after former feminine engineer Susan Fowler alleged sexism and harassment on the firm. Uber’s demographics fared higher in some instances in comparison with different tech companies, and that continues to be the case: In its 2017 report, 36% of Uber’s international workforce had been ladies, in comparison with 33% of Fb’s. In 2020, ladies make up 40.3% at Uber; 37% at Fb, for instance. Fb’s Black illustration is at 3.9%.
Nonetheless, Uber mentioned white males proceed to make up the biggest share of its worker inhabitants (29.7% in 2020, compared with 30.1% in 2019), which is very true in management roles, tech roles, and tech management roles. It nonetheless has no Black or Hispanic/Latinx ladies in tech management positions. The corporate mentioned it’s targeted on growing ladies in management roles and its general illustration of Black and Hispanic/Latinx workers.
Uber mentioned it delayed the discharge of its variety report (final yr, it made it public in July), intending to give “a clear and correct image” of the corporate after the layoffs. Amid a broader concentrate on racial justice throughout the nation, Uber introduced this summer season a number of commitments it could make in the direction of changing into an extra “anti-racist” firm, together with its benchmark on Black illustration in management.
It additionally launched an advertising and marketing marketing campaign that included billboards in choose cities that learn “When you tolerate racism, delete Uber,” which caught flak, partially, because of the firm’s coverage of treating drivers as unbiased contractors somewhat than workers. The marketing campaign got here as the corporate was ramping up its combat in California to go a poll measure, Proposition 22 or Prop 22, that will permit it to categorize its drivers as unbiased contractors with some profit concessions somewhat than workers with the complete suite of profit protections underneath the regulation.
Prop 22, which voters handed on Election Day, “poses a singular danger to individuals of coloration,” in keeping with the Nationwide Employment Legislation Undertaking. The corporate maintains that the overwhelming majority of drivers need to stay unbiased contractors. As a result of drivers will not be workers; they don’t seem to be included in its variety report.