Facebook Not Making Much Progress On Diversity Front

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Facebook has made very little progress when it comes to diversity. On Thursday, the company published its latest diversity report, revealing that only 4% of its U.S. workforce are Hispanic and only 2% are black. The numbers are even worse when it comes to technical workers: 1% of its workforce are black, and 3% are Hispanic. The numbers have not changed since the social media giant’s first two diversity reports, released in 2014 and 2015.

Not much improvement

Despite the fact that the social media giant has said it is working hard to increase diversity through programs and partnerships, both external and internal, there has been no momentum at all. However, there has been a small increase in the number of hires who are Asian. Each year it inched up 2% to 38% in 2016.

In a blog post, Facebook’s global director of diversity, Maxine Williams, said they still have a long way to go. Williams does see some signs of progress at the social networking giant. She wrote that 9% of new senior leadership hires in the U.S. are black and 5% are Hispanic.

Similar to Google, there has been some movement, albeit slight, on the gender front. Around 27% of the U.S. senior leadership at Facebook is women, compared to 23% a year ago. However, the social networking site is still far from a more gender equitable workforce. Only 33% of its overall U.S. workforce are women, and only 17% of women are doing technical jobs.

Facebook blames skills gap

Two weeks earlier, Google shared that it has yet to make any progress when it comes to hiking up its own diversity statistics, and now Facebook has revealed that it is in no better state. The lack of diversity is still a deep-rooted and difficult-to-solve problem in Silicon Valley.  Additionally, it is something that gets exponentially harder to improve, the bigger the company is.

Facebook attributed the slow movement to the skills gap, noting that only one in four U.S. high schools teach computer science. The social media giant announced a new initiative to give $15 million to Code.org over the next five years to help combat that problem.

For the first time, the social media giant conducted a voluntary survey to better understand the sexual orientation of its workforce. Around 61% of its employees responded, and 7% self-identified as LGBTQ.

On Thursday, Facebook shares closed up 0.44% at $117.29. Year to date, the stock is up more than 10%, while in the last -year, it is up more than 33%.

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