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Yahoo Says Workforce 37 Percent Female in First Diversity Report

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer
Marissa Mayer, chief executive officer of Yahoo! Inc., looks on at the Cannes Lions International Festival Of Creativity in Cannes, France, on June 17, 2014. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Yahoo! Inc. revealed its workforce is less than 40 percent female and that many of the women are in non-leadership roles, in the Web portal’s first such disclosure amid a Silicon Valley debate over diversity.

Yahoo said 77 percent of its leaders -- defined as vice presidents or higher -- are men, according to the report yesterday. Women make up 15 percent of the technically focused positions and have 52 percent of the jobs in non-technical posts. Almost 90 percent of Yahoo’s U.S. workforce is white or Asian.

The Sunnyvale, California-based company, one of the few led by a female chief executive officer, Marissa Mayer, is disclosing the make-up of its staff after similar reports by Google Inc. and LinkedIn Corp. in the last few weeks. The data shine the spotlight on the lack of minorities and women at technology companies, an issue that has received growing attention. Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and others have faced pressure to increase the number of women directors on their boards.

Mayer, a former Google executive, was brought on board in 2012 to turn around the Web company. In total, Yahoo had about 12,400 employees as of the end of March.

Attract, Retain

“Yahoo works to ensure that our existing employees feel welcome and supported during their time at the company,” Jackie Reses, Yahoo’s chief development officer, wrote in the blog post. “Overall, our goal at Yahoo is to create a workplace culture that attracts and retains all talents, regardless of background, and to help our people grow to their full potential.”

The disclosures show Yahoo is slightly ahead of Google in the composition of women in its workforce, with the world’s largest search engine recently saying that 30 percent of its employees are female. The two companies are relatively in line on ethnicity in the U.S., with just 2 percent of Yahoo’s U.S. workforce being African-American and 4 percent Hispanic.

The company has many employee resource groups to serve people of diverse backgrounds, according to the post.

Sarah Meron, a spokeswoman for Yahoo, declined to comment beyond the diversity report.

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