Social Media

Report Details Lackluster Gains For Facebook Diversity

Although the company has made some progress, it is still dominated by white and Asian males

Social Media
REUTERS
Jul 15, 2016 at 6:00 AM ET

Facebook has made little progress in recruiting a more diverse workforce. According to a report released on Thursday, the social media giant’s employees are still primarily white and Asian males, and it has made no progress in bolstering its black and Latino talent pool over the last year.

“Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected,” Maxine Williams, Facebook’s Global Director of Diversity, wrote in a blog post accompanying the company’s latest diversity data. “In order to achieve that mission, we need an employee base that reflects a broad range of experience, backgrounds, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, abilities, and many other characteristics.”

But it seems Facebook has largely failed to act on that mission: Last year, out of all of Facebook’s employees in the United States, 55 percent were white and 36 percent were Asian, compared to 4 percent Hispanic and 2 percent black. Additionally, 68 percent of its total employees worldwide were men, while 32 percent were women.

In its latest report, Facebook says 52 percent of its U.S. employees are white and 38 percent are Asian. Hispanics and blacks still count for 4 percent and 2 percent, respectively. In both 2015 and 2016, Hispanics made up 3 percent of the company’s tech employees in the U.S., and blacks made up 1 percent. Meanwhile, 67 percent of its global workforce is male, while 33 percent of workers are female.

However, the latest report details the company’s progress, albeit minimal, in hiring a more diverse set of employees. “We still have a long way to go, but as we continue to strive for greater change, we are encouraged by positive hiring trends,” Williams wrote. “For example, while our current representation in senior leadership is 3% Black, 3% Hispanics, and 27% women, of new senior leadership hires at Facebook in the U.S. over the last 12 months, 9% are Black, 5% are Hispanic, and 29% are women.” Still, over the last year, the percentage of black employees in senior leadership roles has only grown by 1 percent over the last year, while the percentage of Hispanic employees in such roles has not changed. Further, the amount of women in senior leadership roles has only increased 4 percent.

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In a voluntary survey of Facebook’s employees in the U.S. about sexual orientation and gender identity—61 percent responded—7 percent self-identified as being lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, or asexual. It was the first time the company released such data.

The company said it is “taking several steps to hire more minority workers,” including its $15 million commitment to code.org, a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science training to women and underrepresented students of color.