Pinterest Updates Diversity Efforts for 2016, Goals for 2017

Pinterest released an update on the results of its diversity efforts for 2016 and its plans for 2017.

Pinterest released an update on the results of its diversity efforts for 2016 and its plans for 2017.

The social network said it met most of its goals for 2016, with the exception of its hiring rate for women in engineering, where it aimed for 30 percent and ended up at 22 percent.

CEO Ben Silbermann detailed Pinterest’s 2016 results and 2017 goals in a blog post, saying:

Our efforts improved our hiring process and resulted in the most diverse team Pinterest has had to date. We didn’t make as much progress as we’d like, but we learned a lot that’s going to help us create an even more diverse Pinterest next year.

Silbermann detailed how Pinterest fared in meeting its 2016 goals:

  • Increase hiring rates for full-time women engineers to 30 percent: While we increased the number of women in engineering and technical roles overall, we didn’t reach our goal of a 30 percent hiring rate for women in engineering. We ended the year at a 22 percent hiring rate for women engineers starting in 2016. How we’re making sense of this gap: One reason we missed is because we decided to prioritize hiring senior women engineers, and senior hires take longer. Additionally, 49 percent of engineering interns were women, up from 32 percent last year.
  • Increase hiring rates for engineers from underrepresented backgrounds to 8 percent: We surpassed this goal. The hiring rate for engineers from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds grew to 9 percent, up from 1 percent last year.
  • 30 percent of the underrepresented engineers hired are in senior roles: The number of underrepresented ethnic minorities for our 2017 new grad engineering class thus far grew to over 9 percent, up from under 2 percent in 2015. About 20 percent of our engineering interns in 2016 came from underrepresented ethnic groups, up from 4 percent in 2015.
  • Increase hiring rates for people from underrepresented backgrounds to non-engineering roles to 12 percent: We reached this goal, increasing the hiring rate for people from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds in non-engineering roles to 12 percent, up from 7 percent last year. Underrepresented minorities now make up 7 percent of our entire workforce, more than doubling from last year.
  • Implement a Rooney Rule-like requirement where at least one candidate from an underrepresented background and one female candidate is interviewed for every open leadership position: Many of our new senior leaders came from underrepresented backgrounds this year, especially in engineering, including Li Fan, head of engineering, and Ruben Ortega, head of our Seattle engineering office. In addition, Michelle Wilson became the first independent member of our board.

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As for 2017 goals, he wrote:

We updated our women in engineering hiring rate goal to 25 percent for 2017. We still aspire to 30 percent but realize it’s likely going to take more than 12 months to get there. And since we’ve seen so much success with the Rooney Rule for executive roles, we’re extending it to more teams.

Our goals for 2017 are:

  • Increase hiring rates for full-time women engineers to 25 percent.
  • Maintain hiring rates for engineers from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds of at least 8 percent.
  • Maintain hiring rates for people from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds in business roles of at least 12 percent.
  • Extend our Rooney Rule-type requirement to interview at least one person from an underrepresented background and one female candidate for all top-level managerial positions, in addition to executive roles.

Readers: What are your thoughts on Pinterest’s diversity efforts?