Tesla revealed that only 4% of its leadership team is Black and it has more work to do to represent ‘evolving’ US population

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Win McNamee/Getty Images
  • Tesla said the full breakdown of its US leadership team was 4% Black, 4% Hispanic, and 25% Asian, with white employees making up the rest of the total.
  • The details came to light after the electric carmaker published its first diversity, equity and inclusion report late Friday.
  • Tesla said it’s a “majority-minority” company, with about 60% of its total workforce from underrepresented groups.
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Elon Musk’s company Tesla said underrepresented minorities account for 33% of its US leadership team, with just 4% of leadership roles held by Black staffers.

“We know that our numbers do not represent the deep talent pools of Black and African American talent that exist in the US at every level — from high school graduates to professionals,” the company said in its first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Report, which detailing both its leadership and total workforce in the US.

The company said it has made “progress” in its efforts to hire and promote members of minority groups. As a result, Tesla called itself a “majority-minority” workplace, with about 60% of its total US workforce from underrepresented communities, the company said.

White workers accounted for 34% of total staff, followed by Hispanic workers at 22%, Asian workers at 21%, and Black workers at 10%. Additional groups accounted for 7%, while some staff declined to answer the survey, the company said.

In leadership, however, white workers held an outsized 59% of director or vice president roles. “We know we have more work to do to be representative of the evolving U.S. population and we are committed to implementing the plans we’ve designed to get us there,” the company said in the report.

Black and Hispanic workers each accounted for 4% of total leadership hires. About 25% of leadership roles were held by Asian workers, with 1% held by additional groups.

The report also included details on gender in Tesla’s workforce, with women making up about 21% of the company’s staff. Women held a lesser 17% of leadership roles.

In total, US leadership was 83% male and 59% white, the company said.

“Tesla is not a company that rests on past successes or settles for the status quo,” said Kristen Kavanaugh, director of Inclusion, Talent and Learning, in the report.

She said: “We set high standards for everything we do and we are committed to bringing that same bias for excellence to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Tesla.”

Tesla said it plans to increase recruiting efforts at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, along with expanding its internship program to seek out workers from underrepresented groups. The company said 68% of 2020 hires and 65% of promotions have been from underrepresented communities.

Friday’s diversity report included statements from a wide array of executives and staff, but not a statement from Musk. But the report’s publication nearly coincided with Musk retweeting a video from his Boring Company that showed rainbow rave lights flashing above two Teslas.