Twitter's staff male-dominated

Dick Costolo Dick Costolo, chief executive of Twitter, admits it has "work to do"

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Twitter has become the latest tech firm to admit that most of its staff members are men.

Releasing its gender and ethnic diversity data, the firm said it had "a lot of work to do".

It joins Facebook, Google and Yahoo in admitting that women are in the minority in their workforces.

An expert warned that the industry needed to address the issue as a matter of urgency.

Start Quote

As we have seen, the industry has this issue and it had better put it in order before it becomes embarrassing”

End Quote Matthew Gwyther Editor, Management Today

Matthew Gwyther, editor of Management Today, said it was surprising that a social media platform that was popular across gender and ethnic divides would have issues with representation in its staffing.

"But maybe it is not that surprising after all because, as we have seen, the industry has this issue and it had better put it in order before it becomes embarrassing," he said.

The data released by Twitter on Wednesday showed that, overall, only 30% of its staff were female. The data followed a trend among tech companies that showed an under-representation of women.

Twitter's figures were roughly comparable with those of Facebook, whose data showed that 31% of its staff were female. Google said 30% of its staff members were women, while Yahoo reported 38%.

But the ethnicity data, which was only provided for the USA, showed that white people made up a smaller proportion of the workforce than they did of the country's population.

According to the US 2010 Census, around 64% of the country was white, while around 16% was Hispanic and around 12% black. Asian people accounted for nearly 5%, while approximately 2% were mixed race.

Native Americans and Pacific Islanders, as well as other races accounted for around 1% of the population.

Twitter reported that, relative to their proportions of the country's population as a whole, the white, black and Hispanic communities were under-represented. Asian people, however, were significantly over-represented. Other racial backgrounds were broadly proportional.

The same was true of Google, Facebook and Yahoo.

Twitter Twitter is popular across racial and gender divides, but has imbalances in its staffing

Twitter's data also showed that the gender imbalance was greater in leadership positions, than in overall staffing.

The company said that addressing such an imbalance was a key to running a successful business. "But we want to be more than a good business; we want to be a business that we are proud of," read a statement.

It added: "To that end, we are joining some peer companies by sharing our ethnic and gender diversity data. And like our peers, we have a lot of work to do.

"We are keenly aware that Twitter is part of an industry that is marked by dramatic imbalances in diversity - and we are no exception."

Research has suggested that the technology industry is not representative of American levels of diversity.

But the industry is not without female leadership. Marissa Mayer is chief executive of Yahoo, Meg Whitman holds the same position at Hewlett Packard and Sheryl Sandberg is Facebook's chief operating officer.

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