Uber Says Executive Pay Will Be Linked to 2022 Diversity Goals

Uber recently announced that executive compensation will be linked to meeting diversity goals. The ride-hailing company released its diversity report, which revealed that a majority of its staff are white men.

Uber’s Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Bo Young Lee wrote that the company has experienced “significant growth” in the percentage of women and minority employees. From 2018, the number of female employees grew 42.3 percent, particularly in tech. The number of Black and Latinx employees also grew by 44.5 and 73.5 percent respectively, the report claimed.

However, Uber has not made much progress in the number of Latinx and Black employees in tech leadership roles. Both stand at 0.8 percent from zero percent the previous year. Overall, Uber’s tech team is only 4.4 percent Latinx, 3.6 percent Black, and 2.7 percent multiracial, TechCrunch reported. The company’s worldwide staff population has skyrocketed in the last year. According to CNN Business, approximately 26,000 employees worked for Uber at the end of March 2019. That number, which does not include the 3.9 million drivers Uber employs as independent contractors, is a steep rise from the 18,000 reported the previous year.

The diversity report revealed that 30.1 percent of the newly public company’s staff is white men.

Uber’s workforce is 9.3 percent Black (5.3 percent Black women and 4 percent Black men) and 8.3 percent Latinx (3.7 percent Latinx women and 4.6 percent Latinx men) compared to 8.1 percent Black and 6.1 percent Latinx in 2018. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told TechCrunch that Uber is improving the percentage of people of color working for Uber but that it needs to continue improving it. “In general, both Black and Latinx employees,” Khosrowshahi said. “But not only increasing representation but also really understanding the experience of a POC at Uber—their engagement and their satisfaction.”

In the diversity report, Lee added: “The numbers matter, but they’re only a starting point; a commitment to diversity and inclusion has to run much deeper. That’s why we’ve set an audacious goal: to make Uber the most diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace on the planet.”

In order to diversify its staff, Uber has set diversity and inclusion goals for 2022 that will be directly tied to the compensation of several senior executives, including CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, chief financial officer Nelson Chai, chief legal officer Tony West, and chief people officer Nikki Krishnamurthy. Uber aims to increase the number of women in senior roles to 35 percent by 2022, the BBC reported. The company also said it wanted to grow the number of “underrepresented employees” at lower roles to 14 percent. Uber acknowledged its diversity and inclusion issues but said it has learned from its mistakes and grown from them.

The Silicon Valley giant has been working to improve diversity within its workforce following allegations of sexism under the leadership of former chief executive Travis Kalanick, according to the BBC. In 2017, the company was accused of sexism and harassment by a former female engineer.

Former US Attorney General Eric Holder was hired in 2017 to conduct an investigation into Uber’s gender policy. The investigation resulted in 20 people being pushed out. That year, the company shared its first diversity report, which have become more common among tech companies over the last few years. “Looking back, we’ve certainly made mistakes. But along the way, we’ve learned a lot, too. With leadership from Uber executives, our People and D&I teams, and employees at ever level, we’ll continue to make good on our commitment to ensure that our internal community reflects the incredible diversity of the communities we serve,” the report stated. Allison Scott, chief research officer at the Kapor Center, told CNN Business that its important that tech companies continue to release these diversity reports. “The lack of significant progress indicates how deeply ingrained inequity in tech actually is, and indicates comprehensive approaches—not quick fixes—are needed,” Scott said. “We must ask ourselves, what are the negative consequences to companies when numbers don’t change or hiring goals are not reached?”

About the Author

Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.