June 1, 2017
Releasing its first diversity report Thursday, Lyft revealed that like many Silicon Valley tech companies, it primarily employees white and Asian men — especially when it comes to leadership roles.
Men fill 64 percent of the San Francisco-based ride-hailing startup’s executive and manager positions, according to the report. White and Asian employees fill 70 percent and 18 percent of those roles, respectively. African-Americans hold just 1 percent of Lyft’s leadership jobs, while Latinos hold 5 percent.The homogeneity of Lyft’s leadership team is especially concerning to Wayne Sutton, co-founder of Change Catalyst, a company focused on improving diversity in tech.
“If the leaders are not diverse in the company, it affects everything,” he said. “It affects the overall culture of the company. It affects the retention of … diverse employees. It affects the business of the company.”
Fixing the leadership problem won’t just improve Lyft’s future diversity reports, Sutton said — it will bolster the company’s bottom line. As Lyft works to differentiate itself from rival Uber, which has lost some riders as it struggles with sexual harassment scandals that have led to a high-profile investigation into the company’s culture, embracing diversity could help Lyft win customers, Sutton said.