James H. Collins/AP/File
A Facebook logo displayed on the screen of an iPad in New York, May 16, 2012.

Facebook has 'more work to do' in developing workplace diversity

Facebook released an update on the progress of its efforts to increase workplace diversity Thursday. Among senior leadership, 73 percent of employees are white and 77 percent are male.

Facebook has released its employee demographic data for the second year in a row in an update of the progress of its diversity initiatives.

Overall, the company is 68 percent male and 32 percent female, slightly shifting from 69 and 31 respectively last year. The same percentage of employees are hispanic, black, Pacific Islander, or American Indian as last year, but a greater proportion of Asians now make up the company’s work force.

Looking higher up in the corporate food chain, the overwhelming majority of Facebook’s executives are still white and male. Among senior leadership, 73 percent of employees are white and 77 percent are male.

Diversity is not an issue unique to Facebook, and many of the company’s competitors in the tech industry face the same issues as the social media network does. Google, Twitter, and LinkedIn, all have workplaces that are predominantly male and white or Asian. Less than 10 percent of the employees of these companies are black, Native American, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic.

According to the Anita Borg Institute, a nonprofit that promotes the advancement of women in technology, women only make up a quarter of the technology industry workforce. In senior positions, they make up 17 percent, and in executive roles, 12 percent.

This year’s shift in Facebook’s workplace diversity was described as “positive but modest change” in the report.

“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,” writes Maxine Williams, the company’s global head of diversity.

Last year, the company announced a number of programs dedicated toward increasing the diversity in larger tech industry including partnering with Anita Borg Institute, National Center for Women & Information Technology, National Society of Black Engineers, and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

The tech leader has also been focused on expanding “Facebook University,” an internship at the company focused on college freshmen from underrepresented groups who demonstrate an interest in STEM fields or computer science.

This year, they announced a new slate of programming and strategies intended to make their workplace more diverse. One idea is piloting a diverse slate approach for hiring, in which the company ensures that at least one of the prospective hires for a position comes from an underrepresented group.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Facebook has 'more work to do' in developing workplace diversity
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today