Love Facebook or hate Facebook, you’ve got to respect the company’s commitment to inspiring everyone else in America to do worse.
On Thursday, via the Guardian, Facebook released their diversity report, with white people and Asian people holding the vast majority of positions in the company—55 percent and 36 percent respectively, the former down by 2 percent and the latter up by 2 percent in the last year—and Hispanic, black and biracial people coming in wildly hot at 4 percent, 2 percent, and 3 percent, in that order. Senior leadership is 73 percent white.
More interestingly, the company has not filled out an Equal Employment Opportunity report since 2013. (They’ve been busy, I guess. Little things often fall on the back burner!) And their last entry is truly something. From the Guardian:
The most recent EEO filing available shows Facebook hired an additional seven black people out of an overall headcount increase of 1,231 in 2013. At that time Facebook employed just 45 black staff out of a total US workforce of 4,263. Facebook’s black female headcount increased by just one person over 2013 to 11, and the number of black men increased by six to 34. There were no black people in any executive or senior management positions.
Over the same period the company’s white employee headcount increased by 695. There were 125 white people holding executive and senior management positions at the firm.
I’m so inspired by Facebook’s commitment to hiring white people that I’m having a difficult time coming up with words for what I’m feeling right now. Facebook: Very Tight.
(Also, of course, most of the people who work at Facebook are men: 68 percent of global employees, 84 percent of employees in tech—a number that only shows a 1 percent decrease from the previous year.)
Facebook began making its demographic numbers available to the public in 2014, via “Global Head of Diversity” Maxine Williams, whose language on this issue is truly, remarkably rote and unengaged, like a floppy disk full of PowerPoint presentations.
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.
Well, Maxine, all the white people are napping now. She goes through the traditional “we haven’t done nothing, and doesn’t that count for something” limp panacea in both 2014:
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.
And also in 2015, where she manages to bring it on back to that copy-and-paste-from-the-HR-handbook from the first time:
While we have achieved positive movement over the last year, it’s clear to all of us that we still aren’t where we want to be. There’s more work to do. We remain deeply committed to building a workplace that reflects a broad range of experience, thought, geography, age, background, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture and many other characteristics. It’s a big task, one that will take time to achieve, but our whole company continues to embrace this challenge.
Here are some things that Mark Zuckerberg has said about diversity recently. In 2014:
“It’s this problem because it’s not even clear where you would start attacking it.”
In May 2015:
“We have the same talent bar for everyone,” he said. “But we want to find a disproportionate number of candidates who are women and minorities.”
Back to 2014:
“It’s not the diversity recruitment team’s job, it’s everyone’s job.”
I’m literally too inspired to keep writing.
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via AP