Diversity struggle at Facebook

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Tech companies are notorious for their poor diversity figures and, despite public promises from founder Mark Zuckerberg, it seems Facebook is still struggling to address the issue.

According to the latest hiring data, there’s still a shocking racial disparity at the social media platform – in 2013, just seven of the 1,231 new hires were black while more than half were white.

The Equal Employment Opportunity report also offered a racial breakdown of current employees, revealing that while the majority of the workers are still white, the proportion has dropped from 57 per cent to 55 per cent.

The diversity report also showed that the proportion of Asian workers increased from 34 per cent to 36 per cent during the same period while the number of Hispanic, black and those of “two or more races” remained at four per cent, two per cent and three percent, respectively.

Maxine Williams, the Global Director of Diversity at Facebook, admitted the data was disappointing.

“While we have achieved positive movement over the last year, it’s clear to all of us that we still aren’t where we want to be. There’s more work to do,” she said.

“We remain deeply committed to building a workplace that reflects a broad range of experience, thought, geography, age, background, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture and many other characteristics,” she continued.

Williams then added; “It’s a big task, one that will take time to achieve, but our whole company continues to embrace this challenge.”

Facebook aren’t alone in their struggle – earlier this month, Google admitted they had seen only a very small improvement in diversity figures despite a $150 million investment.

At the end of 2014, just two per cent of 53,600 people employed by Google in the U.S were black people and three per cent were Hispanic.
  • Ann on 2015-06-29 11:57:42 AM

    Tech companies need to start building a much more diverse pipeline of candidates, starting in early high school or even middle school. Targeting schools where there are higher than average Hispanic and Black students and encouraging students to dream of careers in technology (or any of the STEM areas). By creating a robust pipeline, all tech companies can benefit from a diverse workforce. Google can't do it alone, but in conjunction with other tech companies and social agencies, the entire field can be transformed. It takes commitment, time and patience (and dollars). The problem is deeper than Google's recruitment practices and therefore, the solutions cannot be predicated upon traditional recruitment and retention practices.

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