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Yahoo diversity report: Women employees leave Yahoo

The women in leadership roles as of June 30 was 21 per cent than 24 in 2015, while women in non-technical jobs went from 52 to 54 per cent. Photograph: (Reuters)

Reuters California, United States Nov 01, 2016, 05.47 AM (IST)

Women executives left Yahoo Inc at an unusually high rate after the US technology company announced plans to sell itself earlier this year, but it was not immediately clear why, according to the company's 2016 diversity report released on Monday.

The sharp drop comes as Silicon Valley faces pressure to diversify a workforce heavily dominated by men.

The last year has been turbulent for the web pioneer, which in February announced it would explore alternatives and put in motion a plan to cut about 15 per cent of its workforce. In July, it struck a USD 4.8 billion deal to sell its core internet businesses to Verizon Communications Inc.

The number of women in Yahoo leadership roles slipped to 21 per cent as at June 30, down from 24 per cent the year before, the report showed. Women in non-technical jobs dropped to 52 per cent from 54 per cent. The total number of women at Yahoo remained steady at 31 per cent.

Yahoo had 8,800 employees at the end of the second quarter, down from 9,400 as of March 31.

It was not clear why there was such a marked decline in the proportion of women leaders at Yahoo, which is led by Silicon Valley's most powerful female CEO, Marissa Mayer.

"Women leaders organically left because other opportunities were more appropriate for them," said Margenett Moore-Roberts, Yahoo's global head of diversity and inclusion. She said most of the women executives who left did so voluntarily after the plan to sell the core company was announced.

She said Yahoo will use a combination of internal searches and promotions, outside recruitment and partnerships with women-focused tech organisations to balance the losses.

The dip in women executives does not seem to be mirrored at other major tech companies. Women held 28 per cent of leadership positions at Apple Inc, according to its latest figures, unchanged from the year before.


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