Uber This year, in the wake of George Floyd’s police assassination, released its latest diversity report today, showing a decline in overall representation of black employees in the US, despite an increased focus on racial justice. In 2019, Uber was 9.3% black, while this year 7.5% of its employees are black only.
Uber attributed the layoff of Black employees earlier this year, where about 40% of its workforce was hired in community operations, Uber’s chief diversity officer Bo Young Lee told ClearTips.
“As a company that has publicly articulated its stance on anti-racism, this is not acceptable,” she said.
He said that Uber has inadvertently seen a huge decline in the black population. “Dara was definitely upset by it. Every leader was. It prevailed how easy it is to lose some ground after all you have done. “
Lee said his diversity, equity and inclusion team were consulted before the layoffs in an effort to ensure that no single group had a disproportionate impact.
“The unfortunate thing that didn’t make sense at the time, especially our customer service org was hit very hard,” she said. “The overall rate of retrenchment in most parts was 25–26%.”
But in a customer service organization, about 40% of employees were affected. And that part of the company had more representation of Blacks and Latinx people than in other regions.
While Uber saw a decline in its overall black population, it saw an overall net increase in women of color. To get even more granular, Uber plans to start separating the Asian community and the LatinX community.
Uber set diversity targets only last year. Those goals increased the percentage of women to L5 (manager level) and more than 35%, and the percentage of employees below L4 (senior associate) and by 2022 to more than 14%.
Currently, Uber is 59.7% male, 44.8% white, 37.2% Asian, 7.5% black, 8.4% Latin, 1.3% multinational, 0.3% native to Hawaii or other Pacific islands and 0.5% Native American.
Uber does not break the demographics of its gig workforce, but several studies have shown that people of color make up a large part of the gig economy.
In San Francisco, 78% of gig workers are people of color and 56% of gig workers are immigrants, according to a study led by San Francisco’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) and UC Santa Cruz professor Chris Benner.
Although Lee Driver and Distribution are not directly responsible for the population, they stated that they represent a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. With this in mind, his team advises other parts of Uber in policy making as it relates to workers.
Uber has had a controversial relationship with its drivers and delivery workers over the years, most notably in California. This all came to light when California voters passed Proposition 22, a ballot that would classify gig workers as independent contractors. Uber, Lyft, Instacart and DoorDash collectively proposed and supported the measure with $ 206 million in funding.
The gigs on the other side of the proposal were labor groups representing workers. But it was not just the gig employees who opposed the measure. Inside Uber, engineer Kurt Nelson spoke against the measure. In fact, he credited the measurement as being the final straw that led him to seek other employment opportunities.
For Lee, the decision to support Sahara 22 “is taken into account by who is involved and who is excluded from the policies.” Looking at AB5, the California bill that changed the way companies classify their workers “could not help but notice the majority of independent contractor roles that were primarily being excluded from AB5 Were.”
For example, California exempted AB5 fine artists, freelance writers, still photographers, copy editors, producers, and other types of businesses.
“Maybe if AB5 had been implemented differently, I would have landed elsewhere,” Lee said, making sure to clarify that she was speaking for herself and not for Uber. “For me, I agree that Prop 22 was the right thing at the end of the day.”
Meanwhile, Uber CEO Dara Khosroshahi has said that the company plans to advocate similar laws in other parts of the country and the world. It is unclear what will happen specifically, but an Uber spokesperson said the company plans to discuss this type of framework with stakeholders in other states and countries.