LinkedIn, less of a white guy's club than Google

LinkedIn’s workforce is 61 percent male and 53 percent white, according to new data the company released this week.

That compares to Google’s workforce, which is 70 percent male and 61 percent white. I wrote about Google’s demographics in a column last month.

Pat Wadors, LinkedIn’s head of talent, said in a blog post that the company wanted to be “transparent with regard to our employee demographics.”

And while data — any data — is welcomed, the company stopped short of offering other key information.

For example, LinkedIn provided a link to its annual government filing that broke out groups by broad roles. But it didn’t disclose the demographics of its workforce in technical and leadership roles, something Google did.

That kind of detail, while not flattering to Google, helped provide greater clarity about what is going on inside the company.

It’s not as if Google is a paragon of transparency either.

Like Google, LinkedIn did not provide historical data so that outsiders can learn if the workforce is becoming more or less diverse, a basic question. And it also did not provide age breakdowns, even though age has long been a Silicon Valley issue. Google didn’t either.

Still, LinkedIn’s disclosure is welcomed, and in a column, I’ve called on companies to do the same.

Wadors echoed that call:

We may not be the first company to be transparent, and we hope we won’t be the last. Our goal is to improve over time and to make a lasting change at LinkedIn. Let’s challenge each other to make it a more inclusive world in which we work.

Above: Outside of LinkedIn’s Mountain View headquarters. (Kirstina Sangsahachart/ Daily News)


Michelle Quinn Michelle Quinn (188 Posts)

Michelle Quinn is a Business Columnist at the San Jose Mercury News. Prior to her current role, she was the Silicon Valley correspondent at Politico covering tech policy and politics. She has also covered the tech industry at the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. She was a blogger for the New York Times.