Facebook Diversity Update: Modest Gains for Women, Hispanics, African Americans

7 percent of Facebook employees identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender or asexual

Facebook global director of diversity Maxine Williams Wednesday reported modest percentage gains by women, Hispanics and African Americans in the company’s work force.

Williams said in a Newsroom post that:

  • The number of women globally at Facebook was up to 35 percent in 2017 from 33 percent in 2016.
  • The number of women in tech positions rose to 19 percent from 17 percent last year.
  • Women now make up 27 percent of all new graduate hires in engineering and 21 percent of all new technical hires.
  • Hispanics make up 5 percent of the workforce in the U.S., up from 4 percent in 2016.
  • African Americans account for 3 percent of the U.S. workforce, up from 2 percent last year.

Vice president of growth marketing analytics and internationalization Alex Schultz, who leads the social network’s Pride@Facebook initiative, also reported that 7 percent of Facebook employees identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender or asexual in a voluntary survey that saw a 67 percent participation rate.

And Williams highlighted some of Facebook’s diversity initiatives.

  • Its Diverse Slate Approach, which was introduced in 2015, encourages hiring managers to consider candidates from underrepresented backgrounds when filling open positions.
  • Managing Unconscious Bias, a class available to the public, is aimed at encouraging employees at the company to immediately challenge and correct bias.
  • Facebook University provides extra training and mentorship for underrepresented students during their early college education. It debuted in 2013.

Williams admitted that there is more work to be done, saying in the Newsroom post, “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.”

Image courtesy of Facebook Diversity page.