Facebook Downplays Dismal Diversity Numbers
And pat themselves on the back for mild progress.
Facebook recently released data showing the demographics of its workforce and the numbers are, well, sad. Really sad.
Maxine Williams, Global Director of Diversity, discussed Facebook’s diversity problem in a blog post. Williams cited ways that Facebook promoted diversity this last year, calling it “vital” and “not only the right thing to do—it’s the smart thing to do.” However, despite this kind sentiment, their diverse slate program, a university training program, a managing bias course, and a “Lean In Circle” Facebook is still overwhelmingly male, Asian and White. The numbers really speak for themselves.
Facebook’s diversity problem is one that’s very prevalent in the tech industry and nothing new. Jezebel recently pointed out they hired approximately 7 black employees out of 1,231 in 2013. Two years later, and you can still count the percentage of black employees on one hand. It’s very hard to believe that “Diversity is central to Facebook’s mission of creating a more open and connected world” when the numbers are this dismal.
Williams tries to sugarcoat the data, by saying that their work is “producing some positive but modest change and our new hire numbers are trending up” which is like saying you’re “basically done” with an essay when you open a blank document.
She does admit that although they “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.” Williams’ huge understatement is a bit troubling because if Facebook really thinks that raising your demographic slightly higher into the single digits is progress, we’re never going to see a truly diverse workforce. It’s clear that these numerous diversity programs aren’t doing what they should, so maybe they should try something different or at least try harder.
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