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Yahoo highlights Silicon Valley's diversity problem

Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer delivers a keynote address at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas.
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Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer delivers a keynote address at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas.

Newly disclosed details on the demographics of Yahoo's workforce highlight a serious diversity problem facing Silicon Valley.

After years of calls by activists for technology firms to release the gender and race composition of their staff, the Sunnyvale, California-based company revealed on Tuesday that 37 percent of its over 12,000 strong workforce are women, while just 23 percent of senior managers at the company are women.

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The Internet giant, headed by Marissa Mayer, is one of few leading tech firms with a female chief executive.

In terms of race, majority of Yahoo's U.S. employees are white (50 percent) or Asian (39 percent).

Black and Hispanic employees meanwhile account for a combined 6 percent of the workforce.

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"Overall, our goal at Yahoo is to create a workplace culture that attracts and retains all talents, regardless of background, and to help our people grow to their full potential," Jackie Reses, chief development officer at Yahoo wrote in a blog post on the company's website.

Yahoo's disclosures come after Google broke Silicon Valley's wall of silence on the issue last month, revealing that its labor pool is 70 percent male and 61 percent white.

In a recent interview with PBS, Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google acknowledged the company was not where it wants to be when it comes to diversity.

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The tech industry has long been guarded about making public the gender and racial makeup of its workforce. However, major tech firms have become the target of rising pressure to become more transparent on such issues.

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