By Kristen V. Brown San Francisco Chronicle.
There is one small bright spot in the diversity data that Pinterest released on Thursday.
Like most Silicon Valley companies, the social scrapbooking site's workforce is largely male and either white or Asian, a trend that is even more pronounced in highly paid and coveted categories such as leadership and technology jobs. But 21 percent of its technology jobs are also held by women.
That's more than double the percentage of female technologists at Twitter, which released its diversity data Wednesday, and more than any other tech company that has released such data thus far.
Among its technology interns, nearly a third are women. Overall, 40 percent of the company's more than 300 employees are women, although women hold a scant 19 percent of leadership posts.
Its number of female technologists trumps all other companies that have released data. At Google, the first to release its workforce diversity numbers in May, women hold 17 percent of technical posts, while at Facebook and Yahoo they hold 15 percent.
Salesforce, where women make up 20 percent of the technical staff, comes close to matching Pinterest's number.
What's more significant is that women make up nearly one third of participants at Pinterest's technical internship program. Pinterest, it seems, is succeeding in bringing more women into that proverbial pipeline.
"As we look ahead, we've put particular effort on inclusion efforts in hiring earlier in the engineering pipeline, recruiting a 29 percent female inaugural engineering intern class last year and 32 percent female this year," said Pinterest engineer Tracy Chou in a blog post Thursday.
Pinterest's user base is also largely female (a fact that perhaps has allowed the network to remain relatively under the radar despite its explosive growth). But rarely, among Silicon Valley's social-media titans, is user base reflected in a company's hires.
Of course, Pinterest, like the rest of Silicon Valley, has a long way to go. Overall, 92 percent of its staff is either white or Asian. A mere 2 percent is Latino and just 1 percent is black -- dismal numbers in line with those recently released by other companies.
"While we've made some progress in diversifying gender at the company, we haven't done as well in representing different ethnicities," said Chou, who last fall began calling for the industry to share diversity metrics publicly, "and we're focused on getting better."