Facebook Claims Positive Trend in Diversity

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Facebook is the latest tech giant to release a 2015 diversity report, and the data shows a company still overwhelmingly white and male.

In a corporate blog posting, Maxine Williams, Facebook’s Global Director of Diversity, tried to put a positive spin on the data. “Our work is producing some positive but modest change and our new hire numbers are trending up,” she wrote. “In addition to best practice programs we have been running in recruitment and retention, we are always trying creative approaches.”

Those creative approaches reportedly include presenting hiring managers in some parts of Facebook’s U.S. operations with at least one qualified candidate from an “underrepresented group.” Facebook also requires its employees undergo a reworked Managing Bias training course, which features discussions about stereotypes and unconscious bias.

In addition, Facebook invites college freshmen from underrepresented groups to work in teams for a summer with Facebook mentors. On the education front, it has also launched Computer Science & Engineering Lean In Circles, a partnership with organizations such as LeanIn.Org and The Anita Borg Institute to bring together women (and some men) to support one another in their careers.

Facebook as a whole is currently 55 percent Caucasian and 36 percent Asian; its senior leadership is 73 percent Caucasian, and its technology ranks are 51 percent Caucasian and 43 percent Asian. Blacks constitute less than 5 percent of all categories, and Hispanics less than 10 percent.

On the gender front, Facebook is 68 percent male; within its tech ranks, that percentage climbs to 84 percent male.

Facebook’s steps are similar to those of Google and other tech giants that have launched wide-ranging diversity programs over the last year. For example, Google prompts its employees to take diversity classes, and has expanded its hiring programs to more colleges. But like Facebook, these tech firms acknowledge they have a long way to go if they want to diversify their ranks even further.

Image Credit: Gil C/Shutterstock.com

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