Twitter’s headquarters often have a discussion around diversity, and the issue was again taken up after an ex-employee criticized the company executives for not being able to create a diverse workplace. Alex Roetter, top engineering executive at Twitter, was accused of not being able to handle diversity issues aptly.
Lack of diversity getting Twitter in trouble
A few days ago, Leslie Miley, a former engineer, singled out Roetter for suggesting that the firm make use of names for classifying the ethnicity of potential job candidates. “What I also found disconcerting is this otherwise highly sophisticated thinker could posit that an issue this complex could be addressed by name analysis,” Miley wrote.
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Miley, who was laid off last month, said a “particularly low moment” came when the engineering chief said that “Diversity is important, but we won’t lower the bar. Following the outrage over Miley’s post, Roetter in a blog post on Thursday night, apologized for “poor job communicating” and agreed on the things that need to be done at Twitter for a change. Roetter said he too realized the fact that the company had “blind spots” and he also has those blind spots.
“One of mine is that I have a tendency to default to engineering-driven, quantitative solutions,” Roetter said. But to address the issues raised by Leslie much more work is needed, the engineer said.
Roetter said he learned a lot this week, and now all of them as a company are working towards addressing their blind spots swiftly to build Twitter into a company where employees and users both feel proud.
Twitter a more diverse platform
Miley’s criticism of Twitter’s workplace culture isn’t the first time the company has had to face a diversity-related issue. Earlier this year, an internal Twitter team hosted a frat-themed party that prompted Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to establish actual hiring goals for women and minorities.
Lack of diversity at Twitter can be seen as a big issue, especially if we consider that the micro-blogging firm’s platform is more racially diverse than that of any other social network, including Facebook. Almost 41% of Twitter users are blacks, Hispanics and Asian-Americans. The company has also leveraged the diversity of its users to attract advertisers who want to target such groups.