While most tech companies struggle to make their workplaces more diverse and less dominated by white and male employees, Facebook has managed to hire more women and minorities in the last year in almost every category it tracks.
Of course, the improvements are still very incremental, but the improvements show that Facebook’s efforts, led by executive diversity chief Maxine Williams, are indeed helping. Facebook now reports that 35 percent of its staff is female, up from 33 percent a year ago, while the number of women in leadership roles is up one percentage point to 28 percent.
The number of technical roles held by women has increased 2 percentage points to 19 percent of the total technical workforce. Hence Facebook’s technical hire numbers will only remain an indicator of progress if these new hires stay at the company on average as long as male colleagues.
In terms of ethnicity, Facebook is still predominantly white and Asian, with each group respectively representing 49 and 40 percent of Facebook’s nearly 21,000 employees. However, Facebook says it increased the representation of Hispanics from 4 to 5 percent, and the representation of black people from 2 to 3 percent.
These efforts are steps in the right direction, Williams says, but “we aren’t where we’d like to be.” The company says it plans to continue trying to diversify Facebook, especially now that the social network is visited by more than 2 billion people every month, many of which are still not adequately represented by the employees and executives who manage Facebook’s myriad products and services.