Facebook released a report on its workplace diversity this week, showing a meager improvement in the diversity of its workforce compared to last year.
Workforce diversity has been an issue for a number of tech companies, and Facebook appears to be no different, as change appears to be happening at a snail’s pace, if at all.
The report indicated that roughly 55% of Facebook’s employees are white, with 36% being Asian, the two demographics that make up the workforce at a majority of tech companies.
A year ago, the Facebook staff was 57% white and 34% Asian, offering a slight improvement in diversity.
However, Hispanics represent a mere 4% of the Facebook workforce while 2% of employees are African American.
In terms of gender, males make up the majority of Facebook’s staff at 68%. Among technical workers at Facebook, 84% are male, with 51% white and 43% Asian.
At the senior management level, 74% are men, down from 77% a year ago, and of that group 73% are white and 21% are Asian.
Addressing the company’s issues was Facebook’s global head of diversity, Maxine Williams, who said in a statement, “It’s clear to all of us that we still aren’t where we want to be.
There’s more work to do.” This echoes the statement Williams made when Facebook released its diversity numbers last year, which was, “We have more work to do – a lot more.”
Facebook’s lack of workforce diversity is no different from other companies in the tech industry, many of which have faced high-profile lawsuits related to their lack of diversity and allegations of discrimination.
There is incentive for Facebook and similar companies to diversify their staff, as there is great diversity amongst its user base.
Facebook says it has committed resources towards diversifying its workforce, but an Equal Opportunity Commission report from 2013 states that the company hired just seven African Americans in a year they hired a total of 1,200 people.
Williams has responded to that by saying, “We are going against hundreds of years of historical inequity. All of our investments will take years to pay off.”
Whether Facebook is actually taking concrete steps to diversify its staff is difficult to confirm, as any progress in that area has been minimal and slow to happen.