Vehicles pass through Tesla Inc.’s assembly plant in Fremont, California, USA on Monday, May 11, 2020.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Elon Musk’s electric car and renewable energy company released its first diversity report late Friday. Tesla has a “majority minority” overall in the US, but 83% of employees in management positions are men and 59% are white.
According to research by the Boston Consulting Group, companies with more diverse management teams show higher innovation revenues. And listed companies are increasingly required to disclose more information about the composition of their workforce and include people from different backgrounds on their boards.
The first report on the impact of diversity, equity and inclusion from Tesla offers less detail than diversity reports from big tech companies like Google and Apple, which have been releasing demographic information about their workforce since 2014. However, because Tesla makes cars, software and energy products, this is difficult to compare to colleagues in technology or cars.
Tesla revealed a comprehensive analysis of its current US workforce. Here are some highlights:
- Men at Tesla represented roughly: 79% of the workforce, 83% of managers, 75% of new hires and 77% of promotions in 2020.
- Women at Tesla represented roughly: 21% of the workforce, 17% of managers, 25% of new hires and 23% of all promotions in 2020.
- Black and African American employees at Tesla represented roughly: 10% of the workforce, 4% of managers, 12% of new hires and 10% of promotions in 2020.
- Tesla’s Asian employees represented roughly: 21% of the workforce, 25% of managers, 20% of new hires and 23% of promotions in 2020.
- Hispanic and Latino or Latina employees represent roughly: 22% of the workforce, 4% of managers, 27% of new hires and 24% of promotions in 2020.
- White employees represented roughly: 34% of the workforce, 59% of managers, 32% of new hires and 35% of promotions in 2020.
Tesla counted people from the Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native communities as part of an “Additional Groups” category.
- Tesla employees in the Additional Groups category represented roughly: 7% of the workforce and 1% of the management.
It added that its executive cohort – which includes directors and more – was a “very small” percentage of the total workforce at “less than 0.4%”.
Tesla’s debut diversity report didn’t break out How many of its employees have found a disability? Also, the gender data is approximate as Tesla didn’t include any numbers to non-binary and gender-specific employees.
The report also lacks a discussion of employee wear and tear (or retention rates) and excludes intersectional analysis. This means, among other things, that it is difficult to determine whether employees in underrepresented groups have resigned from Tesla or been laid off by Tesla more often than white colleagues. The company wasn’t immediately available for comment when it was contacted by CNBC early Saturday.
Abrasion is a particularly important metric for Tesla. The company offers a stake in Tesla as part of its compensation for all roles and uses that promise as a recruiting tool. The longer an employee stays, the more shares they can potentially buy or transfer.
The lack of an intersectional analysis in the Tesla Diversity Report also hides whether, for example, colored people are promoted at Tesla to the same extent as white people or whether colored people who are military veterans are more or less often hired as white people.
Overall, according to Tesla’s Diversity Report, veterans currently make up approximately 4% of the company’s U.S. workforce.
The report follows a series of allegations that have discriminated against employees and former employees at Tesla over the years. Tesla has denied wrongdoing.
Finally, in its report, Tesla put forward plans to keep the workforce at least as diverse as it is today or to make it more diverse and inclusive.
Along with other initiatives, Tesla said it would recruit historically black colleges and universities in 2021, offer a number of new apprenticeships, and conduct unconscious bias training for all human resource managers and recruiters in 2021.