Facebook Diversity: Progress, More Work To Do

By David Cohen 

FacebookDiversityCoverImage650Facebook Global Head of Diversity Maxine Williams provided a detailed look at the company’s diversity figures in a Newsroom post, saying that progress has been made, but more work remains to be done.

When looking at Facebook employees as a whole, 69 percent are male, and 31 percent female. 57 percent are white and 34 percent are Asian, with just 4 percent Hispanic, 3 percent multiracial, and 2 percent black.

The gaps are even wider for the social network’s tech employees, as 85 percent are male, 53 percent white, and 41 percent Asian. For non-tech employees, 53 percent are male, 63 percent white, and 24 percent Asian.

Facebook also has work to do at its senior level, where 77 percent of employees are male, 74 percent are white, and 19 percent are Asian.

Williams wrote in introducing the company’s diversity statistics:

At Facebook, diversity is essential to achieving our mission. We build products to connect the world, and this means we need a team that understands and reflects many different communities, backgrounds, and cultures. Research also shows that diverse teams are better at solving complex problems and enjoy more dynamic workplaces. So at Facebook, we’re serious about building a workplace that reflects a broad range of experience, thought, geography, age, background, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture, and many other characteristics.

As these numbers show, we have more work to do — a lot more. But the good news is that we’ve begun to make progress.

We have a long way to go, but we’re absolutely committed to achieving greater diversity at Facebook and across the industry.

Williams also outlined diversity-related initiatives Facebook is undertaking with the help of other organizations:

  • Partnering with the Anita Borg Institute and the National Center for Women & Information Technology to support the careers of technical women.
  • Expanding our “Facebook University” — an internship at Facebook focused on undergraduate college freshmen from underrepresented groups who demonstrate an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)/computer science.
  • Partnering with “pipeline” programs including Girls Who Code, Code 2040, National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and Management Leadership for Tomorrow.
  • Collaborating with Yes We Code in its mission to connect 100,000 low-opportunity youth to programs teaching them to code.
  • Providing unconscious bias training for employees.
  • Inclusive approach to programs and services provided through our employee-benefits program.
  • Employee resource groups dedicated to supporting employees from diverse backgrounds, including Asian-American Pacific islanders, black, differently abled, FB Women, interfaith, Latin, pride, and vets.

Readers: Did any of Facebook’s diversity statistics surprise you?