Airbnb’s diversity report: Fewer white people than ever!

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On Tuesday, Airbnb released its 2016 report on diversity at the company. The company reports progress on the diversity front: The home-sharing startup now has a 56% white workforce, down from 63% in 2015.

That is slightly better than Google and Microsoft, which are both 59% white, and slightly worse than Facebook, which is 52% white.

Most of Airbnb's diversity, like its fellow tech companies, comes its Asian and Pacific Islander employees. The company's filing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) indicates the number of Asian workers at the company increased 8% since last year, so that they now make up nearly a third of employees.


The company basically made no gains when it comes to black and Hispanic/Latinx workers; they are still at roughly 3% and 7%, respectively. Airbnb said it hopes to increase that number by 1% to 11% in 2017. So, they want to hire approximately 68 more black and Latinx workers over the next year.

Slightly less inspiring are its numbers on gender diversity: 43% of its workers are women, down 3% from last year. But in an accompanying blog post, Airbnb emphasizes that it's doubled the number of women in senior level positions since 2015, from 14 to 28 and said internal reviews "didn’t identify a gender pay gap" between women and men. It also increased the number of women in technical roles from 22% last year to 28% this year.

However, these gains don't carry over for underrepresented women of color. Airbnb still reports zero black or Latina women in senior management, unchanged from 2015. As part of its recruitment strategy, it announced a new policy mandating that all candidate pools for senior level positions include women and employees from "underrepresented minority groups," delineated in the EEOC filing as: black, Latinx or Hispanic, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Airbnb also published plans to further increase diversity in the future, specifically for black and Latinx workers, by announcing partnerships with a number of diversity organizations: Jopwell, Career Communications Group (BEYA), Level Playing Field Institute, United Negro College Fund, First Graduate, Code2040, The Honor Foundation, Lesbians Who Tech, and others.


The diversity report comes at a time of enormous scrutiny for the home-sharing platform after reports of racism became a serious PR hurdle. The blog post links out to its ongoing anti-discrimination changes being implemented in the wake of the reports of racism, including reducing the prominence of guest photos during the booking process and preventing hosts from canceling and then re-renting spaces they've told guests were unavailable.

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