Uber's gender gap is not good, but it's par for the course in tech

Saying Uber’s had a rough 2017 is like saying the Atlanta Falcons had a rough Super Bowl: It doesn’t quite capture the disaster.

After a social media campaign — affectionately called #deleteUber — led to more than 200,000 deletions of its app in January, the last month or so has brought a torrent of controversies for the ride-hailing company. There have been multiple allegations of sexual harassment from former employees, a lawsuit from Google, major executive departures, embarrassing leaked videos of CEO Travis Kalanick, unflattering reports of Kalanick’s alleged behaviour, and self-driving car crashes, to name a few.

To try and rehab its image and internal culture, the company this week released its first-ever diversity report. And, as is sadly predictable, the results weren’t great: Uber admitted it’s lacking in black and Hispanic employees, particularly in leadership positions, and its internal figures show that the company is very much male-dominated.

But as this chart from Statista shows, that divide is as emblematic of the wider gender gap in tech as it is Uber’s own practices. Compared to giants like Apple, Google, Facebook, or Microsoft, Uber’s lack of women is entirely normal. To Uber’s credit, it has pledged to spend $US3 million over the next three years to support more diversity in tech, and it is publically shaming itself, more or less, by releasing the figures at all. But like the rest of tech, it still has plenty of work to do to become less of a boys club.

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