At Uber, our mission is to ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion. We see direct parallels between how we ignite opportunity through our company and how we ignite it within our company. But we also know that a solely data-driven approach will never be sufficient, because D&I is more than a box to check or a target to hit. The numbers matter, but they’re only a starting point; a commitment to diversity and inclusion has to run much deeper. That’s why we’ve set an audacious goal: to make Uber the most diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace on the planet. And we’re not just setting high expectations for our own good. We’re aiming sky-high because we know from experience that reducing and eliminating inequity is hard to do if all you shoot for is incremental change.
Across the globe in 2018, Uber supported many exciting new programs and partnerships that address inequality and leave a lasting impact beyond the reach of our business.
For example, in our hometown of San Francisco, we are collaborating with <dev/Mission> to host Open Labs, where our engineers can meet and mentor young people, answer questions about coding and software development, and offer hands-on exposure to careers in technology they might not otherwise consider. In 2015, we set—and have since far exceeded—the goal of bringing 10,000 driving opportunities to the South and West sides of Chicago. And we’re deeply engaged in charitable giving, community assistance, and public health campaigns from Hong Kong to South Africa, from Florida to Colorado.
We’re also providing support for communities in times of need. Last year, Uber established a disaster relief fund to provide free rides, food, and other relief to people affected by hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters, as well as assistance to first responders. And in 2018, through our #UberInTheCommunity Week of Service, we enabled more than 3,400 employees across 100+ cities to volunteer at more than 315 events—a 150% increase in events, a 55% increase in employee participation, and an 85% increase in city participation since our first Week of Service, in 2017.
From our corporate offices to our driver-partners across the globe, diversity is one of our greatest assets. That’s why we’re doing everything we can to increase D&I in our talent pipeline, create a global culture that celebrates differences, and provide every employee and every partner the resources and support they need to grow, thrive, and succeed.
To ensure that our most senior leaders are accountable for this important work, we’ve implemented “progress on measurable D&I goals” as one of the key metrics to evaluate job performance and determine executive compensation. Through our unique and innovative partnership with Harvard Business School Online, we offer world-class executive education to current and aspiring leaders, with a specific focus on the topics of culture, leadership, and inclusion. And throughout 2019, we’re piloting a variety of sponsorship, mentorship, and coaching programs for employees at every level—with an eye toward rolling them out at scale, across the company globally.
We’ve also made a firm, public commitment to gender equity by taking the California Pay Equity Pledge. We made good progress on this goal in 2018, and we’re excited for that progress to continue.
Creating the most diverse and inclusive workplace on the planet won’t be possible if we settle for small, incremental changes. Realizing Uber’s bold vision will require bold actions to match—starting with a complete shift in how Uber works as a company. For us, that began with fundamentally transforming our culture.
In our Global Self-ID survey, we asked Uber employees around the world to voluntarily share with granularity how they identify, so we can better recognize and support the diverse populations already represented in our workforce. That’s also why we created Gender Transition Guidelines for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming employees who are planning, or going through, a gender transition.
In the year ahead, we plan to keep ramping up these and other investments in our people and culture. Whether by expanding our 12 Employee Resource Groups—currently comprising more than a third of Uber’s global employee population—or by extending our parental leave policy for all parents, regardless of gender or caregiver status, whether hourly or salaried, we won’t stop until Uber is a workplace where everyone is encouraged and equipped to succeed.
Some of the least visible but most critical work of D&I happens behind the scenes—in the design and implementation of HR systems. That’s why we’ve reinforced and strengthened Uber’s hiring manager training to build inclusive interviewing skills. Our leaders have also committed to ensuring diverse slates for all executive role hires. And we’re piloting implementation of Rooney Rule–inspired parameters for mid-career hires with the goal of expanding to all hires in the future.
Through our Talent and Career Management teams, Uber continues to review, redesign, and embed an inclusion mindset into the systems and programs that most affect how employees thrive and succeed. We’ve found that sponsorship programs are particularly effective at helping us identify and cultivate a rich, diverse, and sustainable pipeline of next-generation talent.
Making sure Uber’s employee value proposition meets the needs of our increasingly diverse workforce is crucial. From offering full-coverage mental health care support to our colleagues and their family members through our partner Lyra, to supporting employees through all the stages of reproductive care through Progyny, we continue to ask, “What do Uber employees need in order to be safe and healthy?”
Around the globe, Uber is seizing opportunities to serve as a catalyst for change on a wide range of issues that affect nearly every community we serve. Last year, we partnered with Polaris, a nonprofit group that operates the National Human Trafficking Hotline, during Human Trafficking Awareness Month to help educate the public about this epidemic.
In the United States, we’ve been part of a growing movement of companies and policymakers committed to giving people a second chance, and we've never asked prospective employees whether they have a criminal record. At the state level, we aligned our driver-screening process with statewide reforms that reclassified some low-level crimes as misdemeanors rather than felonies.
Nationally, Uber is a member of the Coalition for the American Dream, an advocacy group that’s fighting to prevent the deportation of people born in the US to undocumented parents. We’ve joined the Human Rights Campaign’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act, an alliance of leading global enterprises that support strong federal workplace protections for members of the LGBTQ+ community. And this past fall, Uber and 20 partner companies came together to launch the Step Up Declaration at the Global Climate Action Summit, because climate change is a real and imminent threat, and we’re committed to building a greener, more sustainable future.
"We celebrate differences at Uber and are committed to building a culture where everyone feels welcome, supported, and challenged. To help Uber reach its highest potential, diversity and inclusion needs to be at the core of everything we do."
—Dara Khosrowshahi, Chief Executive Officer, Uber
"Diversity and inclusion isn't just about redesigning a single system or a process, but also about giving people real developmental opportunities that change everyday behaviors and attitudes. With the right actions, diverse teams can become our single greatest asset because they are what drive innovation."
—Bo Young Lee, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Uber
Since our last diversity report, Uber has experienced significant growth in overall headcount. As we continue to grow, we remain acutely thoughtful about how we bring people in and lift them up.
Here are a few noteworthy year-over-year total population changes (2019 versus 2018):
The population of women overall grew 42.3%. This growth was most notable in tech (where the headcount of women grew by 47.9%) and tech leadership (35.3% growth).
The region with the highest increase in headcount of women was Latin America, where the population of women grew by 88.3%.
In the US, the populations of Black/African American and Hispanic/Latinx employees grew by 44.5% and 73.5%, respectively, from 2018. This growth was most notable in tech (up 65.0% and 74.3%, respectively).
In addition to our growth in headcount, we’ve increased the overall percentage of women, Asian, Black/African American, and Hispanic/Latinx employees in our workforce. Below is a closer look at our workforce representation over the last 2 years.¹
From 2018 to 2019, the percentage of women overall and across all functions increased around the globe (+2.9 percentage points). Similarly, the proportion of women grew across most global regions (ranging between +0.2 and +4.0 percentage points), holding steady in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In the US, the percentage of underrepresented employees increased overall (+1.2 percentage points for Black/African American employees and +2.2 for Hispanic/Latinx), most notably in our tech and support functions.
In leadership roles across functions, the global representation of women grew (+7.1 percentage points), most notably in our non-tech functions (+12.5 percentage points). In the past year, we’ve made meaningful progress in increasing the diversity of our leadership population, but the data indicates a continued need to focus on women (-1.8 percentage points), Black/African American (from 0% to 0.8%), and Hispanic/Latinx (also from 0% to 0.8%) employees in tech leadership roles. ⁴
This year, we began looking more deeply at our workforce data by exploring intersectional views. By considering the intersection of race/ethnicity and gender (in the US), we’re able to make more meaningful and insightful observations of key trends, and thus pursue more impactful and inclusive strategies to continue closing gaps and improving our culture.
Whether at work, on the road, or at home, everyone everywhere should feel the freedom to be their authentic selves. Over the past year, we’ve driven positive change in the world around us and continued building the more diverse, interconnected company we aspire to be. We’ve made exciting progress, but there’s much more to do. We won’t stop until diversity and inclusion are embedded at the core of everything we do.
—Bo Young Lee, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Uber
¹Data are as of March 2018 and March 2019.
²Race and ethnicity percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.
³Our support function includes employees with a Level 1 and Level 2 distinction, including community support representatives, experts at our Greenlight Hubs, Xchange Leasing specialists, funnel operations specialists, and self-driving operators.
⁴Leadership is defined as director and above.