Technology

Facebook Unveils New Diversity Report, But Not Much Has Changed

Facebook has come out with its new diversity data, but the results are pretty much the same, which is disappointing. Civil rights activists are of the opinion that Facebook and other tech firms are not doing enough to diversify their workforce.

Facebook Unveils New Diversity Report, But Not Much Has Changed

Not much changed from last year

Facebook’s report underscores the daunting tasks that tech firms such as Google, eBay and LinkedIn are facing in terms of workforce diversification, given the industry is presently dominated by white men.

Over the past twelve months, Facebook hired 2,897 new employees, but the overall ratio of male to female improved by just 1%, according to the diversity report released on Thursday. From last years 69% male vs. 31% female, the ratio has improved to 68% vs. 32% this May. In the U.S., the social networker gained some success in bringing down the percentage of white employees from 57% to 55%, while the percentage of Asian employees moved from 34% to 36%.

Intel leads diversity efforts

The latest reports from Google, eBay and Facebook highlight that a lot more has to be done as the numbers are almost identical for both tech and non-tech positions compared to 2014, said Rev. Jesse Jackson, president of the social justice organization Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

“That’s disappointing and it means that Facebook and other tech companies must go beyond aspiring to do better and set measurable goals, targets and timetables to move the needle in diversity and inclusion,” Jackson said in a statement. Jackson also noted that as the companies grow their workforce, he wants the firms to breakdown the gender and ethnicity of new employees they hired.

Citing the efforts from Intel as “gold standard,” the director of the group’s tech diversity initiative “PUSHTech2020,” Butch Wing said that the chip maker is investing $300 million to hire and retain minorities and women, and aims to increase diversity by 2020.

Facebook doing, but more needed

In a blog post, Maxine Williams, Facebook’s global director of diversity, wrote that Facebook has achieved “positive movement” in the last twelve months, but she acknowledged that much more needs to be done.

Similar to NFL’s (National Football League) diversification strategy, Facebook is also testing a plan to consider at least one minority candidate for all open positions. Apart from this, the social networker is also supporting the cause by creating groups like computer science and engineering, increasing training for college freshmen and revamping managing bias training.