“Research also shows that diverse teams are better at solving complex problems and enjoy more dynamic workplaces,” writes Maxine Williams, Facebook’s global head of diversity. “So at Facebook we’re serious about building a workplace that reflects a broad range of experience, thought, geography, age, background, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture and many other characteristics.”
For now, though, Facebook’s statistics are par for the course with the other big Silicon Valley companies, which is to say it is mostly white men. Overall, Facebook is 69% male and 31% female–which is a single percentage point off from Google’s makeup. Likewise, Hispanic and black employees comprise a fraction of a fraction of Facebook’s workforce.
In tech and management-level jobs, specifically, those same disparities are even more pronounced.
Remember, these are the people calling the shots and actually building the products.
It presents a unique challenge for Facebook’s global suite of social products used by 1.1 billion users worldwide. Facebook realizes this, too. “We’re also implementing a variety of programs and strategies to help increase the overall pool of talent from underrepresented communities,” writes Williams. Those initiatives include partnering with the Anita Borg Institute and the National Center for Women & Information Technology to support women in technical fields, and expanding its “Facebook University” program to focus on underrepresented groups in STEM fields.
It’s a nice bit of PR, but as I wrote previously, releasing these figures simply doesn’t mean much until they become an annual thing. But let’s keep the ball rolling. Who’s left? Apple? Twitter?