Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Morris Number Ranges for Some Tech Companies (Morris Number 05)


Employment data is not easy to come by. But almost exactly a year ago, Julianne Pepitone published an article in CNN Money entitled "Black, female, and a Silicon Valley 'trade secret'" and subtitled "Silicon Valley Boys' Club" in which she sought to answer the question "How diverse is Silicon Valley?" Pepitone had managed to obtain employment data from five tech companies willing to permit such information to be public: Cisco, Dell, eBay, Ingram Micro and Intel. I discussed the article, and its excellent interactive tables, here.
Pepitone had sought information from twenty tech companies. Only three, Dell, Ingram Micro and Intel, cooperated; Intel alone has a policy of making such data public. After a FOIA request was filed seeking employment information that government contractors have to give the government, information about two more companies, Cisco and eBay, was obtained. Final tally: 20 companies, 5 with data, 15 not. Ten of those fifteen, including Amazon, Facebook and Twitter, had no government contracts so the FOIA request did not touch them. The other five -- Apple, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Microsoft -- successfully petitioned to prevent disclosure on the grounds that it would cause "competitve harm," hence the 'trade secret' joke in the title of the article. Would a company with an excellent record of diversity want to make sure nobody saw the numbers? Hmmm. If you know of further developments in the quest for this kind of information, please let me know.
Pepitone's tables present the numbers of employees in six categories. She explains that these are averages over 5 years. [See "Methodology" below the interactive tables and click "Read More."] Those categories are related to a set of ten codes from an EEO-1 form that all companies with more than 100 employees must file with the EEOC. Those ten codes are aggregates from the 300 occupations the US census uses. See
The EEOC, however, is prohibited by statute (subsection e of 42 USC 2000e-8) from divulging EEO-1 information, which is why the CNN Money investigators first asked the companies directly, and then used a FOIA request addressed to the Department of Labor. Unlike the EEOC, the Department of Labor is not subject to a gag rule but the contractors do have the right to petition to keep secret any trade secrets.
Pepitone reorganizes the data to focus more on upper level employees. She breaks out the subcategories of the EEO-1's top code (1.1: executive/senior officers and 1.2: First/Midlevel Officials and Managers), identifying the first as "Officers and Managers" and the second as "Midlevel Officer or Manager." She also collapses the lower five EEO-1 codes into a single "Admin/Other" category.

Total employees for each company are not displayed, so I have calculated them here.
Ingram Micro

Apparently the five companies give different interpretations to the EEO codes. For example, Intel, which I calculate has almost 47,000 employees, has only 41 "Officers and Managers," less than 0.1% of the workforce. By contrast, Ingram Micro has 236 "Officers and Managers", almost 6 times as many as Intel, out of a workforce of 4600, one-tenth the size of Intel's. That means Ingram Micro's Officers and Managers are 5% of its workforce. Is Ingram Micro that top-heavy and is Intel that lean? Or what?

The CNN Money interactive tables let you view the total number of people the company designated in each category, as well as how many are men or women, or your choice of any combination of gender -- all, men or women -- and ethnicity -- all, Asian, Black, Hispanic, White, or Other.

Because all five companies have at least five women in the top category, it is possible to calculate a range of Morris Numbers. We cannot determine the precise value without more information about people's actual positions. (See Part 03 of this series for a discussion of different ways to rank employees using objective data.) Sometimes the companies' webpages help, at least for the very top of the top. I analyze some of this information below.

A suspicious mind might suspect that companies use as broad a definition as they can for the top category in order to have as few zeroes in the non-white-male boxes as possible. The range for the Morris Number [LOW, HIGH] for each company does not prove or disprove that theory. The greater the overall number of employees in the top category, however, the higher (worse) the upper limit on the Morris Number range.


If we do not know the precise rankings of the women in a company's top management, we can at least calculate the range. The best (lowest) Morris Number is obtained by assuming the first five woman are clustered at the top, above all the men, the highest (worst) Morris Number by assuming that the fifth and all lesser-ranked women in that category are clustered at the bottom. (The ordinary Morris Number is the same whether the first woman is in that bottom cluster, too, or is the CEO. I propose the weighted Morris Number to take into account the actual positions of the four women you pass on the way to finding the fifth highest ranking woman.

Let's take an example, first with numbers, then without, to understand how this works.
        Total people in the category Officer and Managers is 105.
        Number of women in that category is 5
        Number of men = 105-5 = 100

If we assume the least sexist (genderist?) case, the 5 women are all at the top, the 100 men come below them, and the Morris Number is 0. In the worst case, the 5th woman is ranked below the 100 men and the Morris Number is 100. We can write the range as [0,100].

We can derive a formula, too. If T = total and W = women, then the worst number is T-W. If there are 5 or more women in the category, the best number is 0. If there are less than 5, then the next category has to be included to get the Morris Number.

Now let's consider Pepitone's data.


The Officers and Managers row of the interactive tables shows that
Cisco: Women are 44 of the 225. Morris Number Range: 0 to 181
Dell: Women are 27 out of 125. Morris Number Range: 0 to 98
eBay: Women are 10 out of 55. Morris Number Range: 0 to 45
Ingram Micro: Women are 47 of the 236. Morris Number Range: 0 to 189
Intel: Women are 6 out of 41. Morris Number Range: 0 to 35.

Conclusion: Intel looks the best. Ingram Micro looks the worst, with Cisco a close second.

CISCO: The senior management (according to, last viewed 3/14/14), has only 71 people, compared to the 225 that CNN Money reported was on Cisco's EEO-1. The top level is called the Executive Leadership Team. The 15 members, 11 men and 4 women, are listed alphabetically by last name. The women's titles are SVP and Chief Marketing Officer; Chief Technology and Strategy Officer; CIO and SVP; and SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer. We need only look for one more woman to calculate the Morris Number. Of the 56 people in the next level, the Senior Leadership Team, 6 are women, 50 are men. (The fact that there are more women proportionally in the top level (4/15 = 27%) than in the second level (6/56 = 11% )reminds me of the Indira Phenomenon.) If one of the six women in Senior Leadership is above all the males in the category, the (lowest) Morris Number is 11. If all the men are above F#5, the (highest) Morris Number is 61. Range for Morris Number: [11,61].

INGRAM MICRO: The webpage listing Ingram Micro's senior management (, last visited 3/17/14) has only 20 people, compared to 236 on the company's EEO-1 filing as shown on the CNN Money table. Of those 20, apparently listed in rank order, there are 2 females and 18 males. F1 is 11th, F2 is 14th. That means F3, F4 and F5 are below the 20 Executive Leaders. If they are directly below, the Morris Number is lowest: 18. If not, they must be somewhere among the remaining 216 (236-20, consisting of 189-18=171 men and 47-2=45 women). If F3, F4 and F5 are at the bottom with the rest of the women and below the 171 men, the worst Morris Number is 189. Range for Morris Number: [18, 189].

INTEL: The webpage identifying senior management ( , last viewed 3/14/14) has the same number of employees, 41, as Intel had reported to the EEOC. The Chairman of the Board, a non-employee, brings the page's total to 42. Within each title -- Executive Vice President, Senior VP, Corporate VP -- people are listed alphabetically by last name so no ranking is revealed. The President, listed after the CEO so overall ranked #2, is female. There is also a female EVP (1 of 4), a female SVP (1 of 6) and six female Corporate VPs (6 of 29). F#5 is thus among the Corporate VPs, but we do not know her rank within that group. If she is top-ranked, Intel has the lowest Morris Number: 9. If she is below all the male Corporate VPs, Intel has the highest Morris Number: 32. Range for Morris Number: [9,32].

Conclusion: Intel still looks best, Cisco looks better, Ingram Micro looks about the same.

I also looked on the web for information about the younger tech companies with high profile women, Facebook (Sheryl Sandberg) and Yahoo (Marissa Mayer). The result was: they like to keep secrets. The Indira Phenomenon may be present at both companies.

Facebook lists only 4 executives on its main company information page, Sandberg and 3 men. The Board of Directors has the same ratio: 2 women and 6 men. A 2012 article in the Business Insider has a photo of 18 people from Facebook who had visited Walmart, 13 men and 5 women. Author Owen Thomas points out that the picture includes some "junior [Facebook] staffers who work closely with Walmart" which seems to include at least one of the women, a customer marketing manager involved with the Facebook-Walmart relationship. The other four women are COO Sandberg, her executive assistant, a (the?) director of design, and the VP for Human Resources (so often the only high level job for someone outside the homosocial reproduction group). If these are the four highest ranking women at Facebook, who and how far down is F5? Is Facebook better than Intel or Cisco?

Yahoo's Proxy Statement filed in 2013 has a table showing the ten most highly compensated current or former executives. Two are women, one with the highest compensation on the list, CEO Marissa Mayer, and one with the lowest. Other than the Proxy Statement, I was unable to find anything from Yahoo with any executive leadership biographies or other information from which to calculate a Morris Number range.

True of false? 1. The younger the tech company, the more secretive about diversity data. 2. The younger the tech company, the worse the Morris Number. (Two more PhD ideas there.)
March 19, 2014; rev 1 20140330,0403

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