Ah, Twitter. That great modern starter of revolutions, bringer of egalitarianism, uniter of fans with their celebrities. In an efort to be 'more than a good business... [but] a business that we are proud of', the company released its 'ethnic and gender diversity data' today. And, well, it's a bit embarrassing:
'Like a lot of our peers, we have a lot of work to do,' it said - but if you look at some of its peers, actually their diversity figures are a lot better than that. At Facebook and Yahoo, for instance, 15% of the tech jobs are held by women, while at Google and Linkedin it's 17%.
And if you look at Silicon Valley as a whole, women hold just under a quarter of computer and mathematics jobs, according to research by the San Jose Mercury News. So actually, Twitter has quite a lot more catching up to do. Particularly when you take into consideration that, for instance, 22% of African-American internet users Tweet, vs 16% of white Americans - or the fact that a 2012 survey of Twitter users showed the average Tweetist is a 37 year old woman.
Twitter was also the primary vehicle for many of the more aggressive trolls attacking the likes of Mary Beard and Laura Bates. So gender is already a sensitive issue. Perhaps, if its workforce reflected its user base, the site might become better at responding to abuse...