Uber Facing PR and Economic Backlash: When Tech Industries Neglect Diversity

Uber’s diversity numbers, published for the first time, reflect the overall disparity in diversity present throughout the tech industry, and the PR and economic backlash.

Portland, OR (PRWEB) April 17, 2017

A broad view of Uber’s progress, combined with news of its deal to exit the Chinese market, reveals a loss of over $2.2 billion in the first nine months of 2016, according to a Bloomberg report.(1) The reasons for this are varied, while negative publicity continues to be a serious problem for the ridesharing giant.

Uber’s just-published diversity numbers reveal that out of 12,000 employees, fewer than 40 percent are women. Black and Hispanic employees make up 15 percent, while white and Asian employees constitute 80 percent. Further illustrating this trend, Google, in 2016, had a workforce of about 62,000, comprising 31 percent female, 5 percent black or Hispanic, and 90 percent white or Asian.(2)

“The problem of diversity in tech is well-known, and one significant cause of this is the rate of expansion of some of these companies,” said author and co-founder of White Men As Full Diversity Partners (WMFDP), Bill Proudman. “Many market disruptors can have an inability or unwillingness to look inward at their own cultural dilemmas—and this can backfire badly, as has been the case with Uber.”

Uber has been plagued by one PR concern after another—with its diversity and inclusionproblems at the forefront.

Proudman explained that there continues to be more and more evidence of the correlation between a vibrant culture of diversity and economic prosperity. The flipside is the financial consequences of narrow-mindedness and unconscious bias.

One example of adverse financial consequences is a World Bank report quantifying the costs of workforce discrimination, increased health costs and anti-LGBTQ laws, which can cost a nation up to 1 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP). Globally, a conservative estimate of this impact amounts to over $400 billion—enough to eliminate extreme poverty planet-wide.(6)

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