Elon Musk’s Tesla revealed that only 4% of his leadership team is black

Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

  • Tesla said the full breakdown of its US leadership team was 4% Black, 4% Hispanic, and 25% Asian, with white employees making up the rest of the total.
  • The details came to light after the electric carmaker released its first report on diversity, equality and inclusion late Friday.
  • Tesla said it is a “majority minority” company, with about 60% of the total workforce from under-represented groups.
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Elon Musk’s company Tesla said underrepresented minorities make up 33% of the US leadership team, while only 4% of leadership positions are held by black staffers.

“We know our numbers don’t represent the deep talent pool of black and African American talent that exists at every level in the US – from high school graduates to professionals,” the company said in its first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Report, which details both leadership and the total workforce in the US.

The company said it had made “progress” in its efforts to recruit and promote members of minority groups. As a result, Tesla called itself a “majority-minority workplace,” with about 60% of the total US workforce from under-represented communities, the company said.

White workers accounted for 34% of the total workforce, followed by Spanish workers at 22%, Asian workers at 21%, and black workers at 10%. Additional groups accounted for 7%, while some staff members declined to complete the survey, the company said.

In leadership, however, white workers held an outsized 59% of the positions of director or vice president.

“We know we have more work to do to be representative of the evolving US population and we are committed to executing the plans we have designed to get us there,” the company said in the report.

Black and Hispanic workers each accounted for 4% of the total executive recruitments. About 25% of managerial positions were held by Asian employees, and 1% were held by other groups.

The report also detailed gender in Tesla’s workforce, with approximately 21% of the company’s workforce being women. Women held a smaller 17% of managerial positions.

In total, the American leadership was 83% male and 59% white, the company said.

“Tesla is not a company that relies on past successes or settles for the status quo,” said Kristen Kavanaugh, director of Inclusion, Talent and Learning, in the report.

She said, “We set high standards for everything we do and we are committed to bringing the same preference for excellence in diversity, equality and inclusion to Tesla.”

Tesla said it plans to increase recruitment efforts at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, along with expanding the internship program to seek out employees from underrepresented groups. The company said 68% of 2020 hires and 65% of promotions came from under-represented communities.

Friday’s diversity report included statements from a wide variety of executives and staff, but no statement from Musk. But the report’s release almost coincided with Musk retweeting a video from his Boring Company showing rainbow rave lights flashing over two Teslas.

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