Black people hold just 4% of US leadership roles at Tesla

LaToya Harding
·Contributor
·2-min read
The logo of car manufacturer Tesla is seen at a branch office in Bern, Switzerland October 28, 2020. Picture taken October 28, 2020.  REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
In its first US diversity report, the electric carmaker said women made up just under a fifth (17%) of the firm’s leadership roles in the States, and 21% of the total workforce. Photo: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

Tesla (TSLA) has revealed that black employees make up just 4% of its American leadership roles, which include directors and vice presidents, and a tenth of its overall workforce in the country.

In its first US diversity report, the electric carmaker said women made up just under a fifth (17%) of the firm’s leadership roles in the States, and 21% of the total workforce.

The report showed Asian, Black and Hispanic people combined were 33% in leadership and 60% overall.

Tesla also noted that leadership roles were a “very small cohort”, less than 0.4% of its workforce.

“We know that our numbers do not represent the deep talent pools of Black and African American talent that exist in the US at every level – from high-school graduates to professionals," it said in the report.

“While women are historically underrepresented in the tech and automotive industries, we recognise we have work to do in this area.”

Tesla pledged to increase representation of all under-represented groups in 2021 and said it would be recruiting at historically black colleges and universities.

At the time of publishing, the company, which is now the most valuable automobile firm in the world, is worth $568bn (£422bn).

At the time of publishing, the company, which is now the most valuable automobile firm in the world, is worth $568bn (£422bn).
At the time of publishing, the company, which is now the most valuable automobile firm in the world, is worth $568bn (£422bn).

A 600% rise in the company’s share price this year has made owner Elon Musk the second richest man on the globe, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Just days ago the South African born entrepreneur told staff members that they need to cut costs or the company’s stock price could be “crush like a souffle under a sledgehammer”.

READ MORE: Elon Musk plans ‘world’s biggest battery factory’ at Tesla plant near Berlin

He warned that the company’s profitability was around just 1%, urging staff in an email to try and find savings across the firm.

He wrote: “This a tough game of pennies — requiring thousands of good ideas to improve part cost, a factory process or simply the design, while increasing quality and capabilities.

“A great idea would be one that saves $5, but the vast majority are 50 cents here or 20 cents there.”

The stock will join the S&P 500 (^GSPC) later this month.

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