Facebook Still White, Mostly Male, And Equality Could Take Decades

Facebook Still White, Mostly Male, And Equality Could Take Decades

Facebook says its workforce is slightly less white and less male than it was a year ago, and it’s building inclusivity into the company, but it’s still not where it wants to be.

The proportion of women globally who work for Facebook has grown from 31 percent in 2014 and 33 percent in 2016 to 35 percent in 2017. Women in technical jobs have increased from 15 percent in 2014 and 17 percent in 2016 to 19 percent in 2017. Women now make up 27 percent of all new graduate hires in engineering and 21 percent of all new technical hires at Facebook. In the US, representation of Black people has grown from 2 percent to 3 percent and Hispanics from 4 percent to 5 percent. Facebook’s senior leadership is 92 percent white or Asian, the same as it was in 2016 and less than the 93 percent in 2014.

Facebook released the data today on its workplace demographics. This is the fourth year the company has provided new employee diversity metrics.

Like most tech companies, Facebook is still mostly white and mostly male when it coms to technical and leadership jobs. But the numbers are mostly better than they were a year ago, and in some cases, much better than they were in 2014, Recode, reported.

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“We aren’t where we’d like to be, but we’re encouraged that over the past year, representation for people from underrepresented groups at Facebook has increased,” said Maxine Williams, Global director of diversity.

So why is it taking so long? Facebook staff has grown by more than 13,000 employees since 2014 — almost tripling. This makes change harder.

How does Facebook compare to huge tech companies? Google’s workforce is 31 percent female according to its most recent diversity report. By comparison, Microsoft is 25.8 percent female, Amazon is 39 percent female and Twitter is 37 percent female, CNBC reported.

One way Facebook is making progress is by requiring hiring managers to interview at least one minority candidate for every job opening. A year ago, this requirement was used for only a small group of teams at Facebook. Now, Williams says it is implemented for every global hire, Recode reported.

“For every increase in representation for an under-represented group, it means we are hiring them at rates that are higher than the rates we are for majority groups,” Williams said. “To outpace means there is a deliberate driving engine behind it.”