Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×
Facebook Social Networks

Facebook Makes Little Progress in Race and Gender Diversity (theguardian.com) 200

An anonymous reader shares a Reuters report: Facebook has said about one-third of its workers are female, while black employees accounted for 3% of its US senior leadership, both numbers only slightly higher than a year earlier. The data released by the world's largest social network on Thursday reflects the scant progress made by Silicon Valley heavyweights in making their workplaces more diverse in the face of criticism for having mostly white, male workers. Last month, Alphabet's Google released data on diversity, saying it had more black, Latino and female employees but still lagged its goal of mirroring the population. Women represented 33% of Facebook's global workforce, according to data from 30 June, compared with 32% a year earlier. Women held 27% of senior leadership roles, up from last year's 23%.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Facebook Makes Little Progress in Race and Gender Diversity

Comments Filter:
  • And? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Friday July 15, 2016 @04:02PM (#52520299)
    If you set a goal you can't achieve why are you surprised? Facts matter, people should really go back to using them.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      If the goal is to mirror the population, they'll have to start hiring more stupid people with no incentive to work.

      Now THAT's a real challenge.

    • This goal was easy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Friday July 15, 2016 @04:55PM (#52520655) Homepage Journal

      All they need to do is look to their content creation base. 75% women. Pretty damn easy to take the top N% content creators, start paying them to create more content, double your workforce, and claim that you've reached 50% female on the diversity numbers.

      Bet the same is true for other minorities as well, at least as far as Facebook is concerned.

      • So pay people to make content that they are willing to make for free? Why?
        • So that they actually work *harder* at creating content- pick the ones who have a huge following, and their posts will actually bring more eyes to your advertisers, thus increasing ad revenue far more than the piddling amount of their salaries are worth.

          • Content creators are already financially rewarded. Plenty of artists make a good living on Youtube. Not all, and not a majority, but not all content/art is equal.

            Perhaps you are attempting to claim that the lady who made the 20 minute "art" program shoving Spaghettios up herself is worth as much as the person managing services, selling products, building hardware, etc? Society disagrees with you, as does every economic model and civilization since we have recorded history.

    • Re:And? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Friday July 15, 2016 @05:16PM (#52520759)

      You just don't understand. " ....while black employees accounted for 3% of its US senior leadership,... Clearly this isn't PC. So more blacks must be hired and put into these positions, even if we are not capable of doing the work. Sheesh, next thing you're likely to criticize the quota system that pushed through colleges and universities the many black students who displaced more qualified white students and call it racist, even though some of those receiving degrees are still not capable of doing the work. White people must stop using the ability to actually do the work as a racist way to keep the black man down, it should be enough that we were pushed through the system and given a token diploma.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        If you bothered to look at what they are actually doing it's clear that the seemingly slow rate of change is due to them not lowering standards or introducing quotas, but simply relying on encouraging more good candidates from minorities to apply in the first place. That's done through a combination of assistance with mentoring/training, better networking and removing some of the barriers that other people don't face.

        So rather than your insane bullshit, they are taking a practical steps that are working. Ye

    • Re:And? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by liquid_schwartz ( 530085 ) on Friday July 15, 2016 @06:01PM (#52521031)

      If you set a goal you can't achieve why are you surprised? Facts matter, people should really go back to using them.

      Political correctness cares not for facts nor reality. Never has, never will.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 15, 2016 @04:02PM (#52520303)

    Who cares about race or gender? Hire the best. If only 3% are black, should they hire someone less qualified just to meet a quota? That's bullshit. Try being the best instead.

    • by nwaack ( 3482871 )

      Who cares about race or gender? Hire the best. If only 3% are black, should they hire someone less qualified just to meet a quota? That's bullshit. Try being the best instead.

      Citizen, your comment has been reported to the PC Police by multiple social justice warriors. Please report to your nearest liberal arts college by 8am tomorrow for PC rehabilitation.

    • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Friday July 15, 2016 @06:22PM (#52521157)

      "The best" is rarely fully quantifiable. For instance, in a purely arbitrary way, solving PC issues is one problem that one person can "be the best".

      But there's rarely a need to be "the best". It's a rare position where the top 5% aren't all capable of producing practically identical work output. In some jobs (e.g. burger flippers) that number is a lot higher.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The reason it is taking them so long is that they are maintaining hiring standards.

      As for hiring the best, most companies realize that "the best" isn't just the guy who studied really hard to pass interviews. In fact, looking at individuals in isolation is a bad idea, because most of the time people work in teams. You need to build a good team, and diversity actually helps that. Monoculture doesn't produce the best solutions.

      Having said that, they do find it hard to get qualified candidates of colour, and a

    • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

      Exactly, companies don't and shouldn't care about the gender of ethnicity of their employees. Suitability for the job at hand should be the only criteria.

      If you want to see more diversity among companies you have to start with kids in school and encourage them to take an interest in particular fields, as well as eliminating the peer pressure that exists in schools to push people away from certain fields.
      For instance technology fields are seen as geeky, so people who show an interest are often picked on in s

  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@NOSPAM.tpno-co.org> on Friday July 15, 2016 @04:02PM (#52520309) Homepage

    I'm of the mind that this is more reflective of the available talent pool rather than any inherent racism.

    • The talent pool of black engineers is small in Silicon Valley because no one will hire them.

      http://www.ibtimes.com/why-mor... [ibtimes.com]

      • That's not what your article suggests. Indeed, it doesn't seem to make any conclusions as to why black engineers don't end up in tech firms beyond a hand waving, "Something in the pipeline is broken".

        There is no indication that companies are activity discriminating or avoiding minority hires.

      • I'll believe it.
        Also, know what happens if you're very sure you've been discriminated against in the hiring process? Nothing. You go to a lawyer, talk about a lawsuit? You'll get told it's a waste of time and to just go looking for a job somewhere else instead. Therefore how are there any real statistics about discrimination in hiring? Employers, if questioned, will just say that the applicant in question didn't meet the qualifications, or 'wasn't the best fit', or any number of totally subjective, non-obje
      • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Friday July 15, 2016 @05:26PM (#52520815)

        Even the most diverse Silicon Valley tech firms are at 2 percent or under in terms of blacks in technology jobs, yet across the U.S. blacks earned 4.4 percent of master’s degrees in engineering and 3.6 percent of its Ph.D.s in 2014

        You may find this hard to believe, but engineering degrees aren't all interchangeable, either in quality or in areas of expertise. Furthermore, many American born engineers don't want to move to Silicon Valley, and many engineers find it offensive when they are hired not for their skill and expertise, but to satisfy some diversity quota.

        • Mechanical engineering pays alright outside of silicon valley $100k/year in the mid-west will buy you a really nice house that would cost you half a million in CA.

      • I am fascinated by the article's apparent accusation that Silicon Valley companies are not reaching out enough to black Georgia Tech graduates. Intrigued, I looked up the distance: it's almost three thousand kilometers! To put this into my own perspective, this translates to me like accusing factories in Stockholm of not hiring enough engineers from Madrid. How dare they conveniently ask the locals, right?
    • by Vinegar Joe ( 998110 ) on Friday July 15, 2016 @04:19PM (#52520437)

      T.J. Hicks: How did you find me?
      Deuce Bigalow: Well, this seemed like the only chicken and waffles place in all of Holland.
      T.J. Hicks: Ohhh, so the black guy has to go to a chicken and waffles place, that's Racist!
      Deuce Bigalow: But you're here.
      T.J. Hicks: Yeah, but figuring it out was racist.

    • by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Friday July 15, 2016 @04:19PM (#52520439)
      Apparently the most talented programmers in the world are all H1-Bs from India. I've worked at two companies so far where everyone got laid off and replaced by them.
      • Apples to oranges happening here, but I'll bite and point out it's a question of efficiency over talent in this case. It makes more financial sense for some companies to hire low wage imports than local high cost talent.

      • If they're that good, why do the outgoing workers have to train them?

        If I was the cynical kind I might suspect some form of shenanigans.

  • They'll have all workers in india, and india is a diverse country. So facebook will have great diversity!

  • by friesofdoom ( 3817155 ) on Friday July 15, 2016 @04:11PM (#52520377)
    ... is these shitty tax evading behemoths running themselves into the ground trying to constrain equality of outcome instead of equality of opportunity.
  • by BradMajors ( 995624 ) on Friday July 15, 2016 @04:12PM (#52520391)

    While ignoring age discrimination. The chances of someone over 40 being hired by Facebook is zero.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      While ignoring age discrimination. The chances of someone over 40 being hired by Facebook is zero.

      Except for Kent Beck, right? https://www.linkedin.com/in/ke... [linkedin.com] says he was hired in 2011, when he was 50, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org].

      Oh, and me, I started last year ago and I'm 43. I have numerous colleagues that are 40 and over, many of them relatively new. But glad you got your facts straight!

  • "Little Progress" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ichthus ( 72442 ) on Friday July 15, 2016 @04:16PM (#52520419) Homepage
    They've made "little progress"? The word "progress" denotes an increase in a desirable attribute.

    Why would any employer want to do anything other than hire the best, most qualified employee for a given job? If that happens to be a black woman, great. If that happens to be a gay Indian man, hire him. But, if Facebook's job requirements are predominantly filled by white males, what is the problem?
    • They have either evidence or assumption that the demographic ratio within their employees is different from the demographic ratio of the "best and the brightest". Therefore their hiring practices failing to catch all of the best and brightest.

      Some ways to move to that demographic ratio aren't progress. Other ways are. If any company is in the business of gathering data about people and their activities (in order to tell whether it's progress or not), surely that company is Facebook.

    • Is there some kind of superpower that you think HR people have where they can look at someone and see exactly what dollar value they will add to your company? There are a lot of things that a person can bring to a company like Facebook, and it is not just what programming puzzles you can solve. There are more intangible things that can matter more, which is what they are asserting with this initiative. Diversity can lead to a more productive work place or a great idea that you might not have had access t
      • by ichthus ( 72442 )

        Is there some kind of superpower that you think HR people have where they can look at someone and see exactly what dollar value they will add to your company?

        No superpower. Just the interview process, which is the best tool available to evaluate a potential employee -- even better then *gasp* skin color.

        Diversity can lead to a more productive work place or a great idea that you might not have had access to otherwise.

        I see this concept parroted repeatedly in discussions like these with nary a real-life me

        • No superpower. Just the interview process, which is the best tool available to evaluate a potential employee -- even better then *gasp* skin color.

          Is it though? People have unconscious biases. There is no perfect objective way to judge individuals, which is why it is important to look at outcomes.

          I see this concept parroted repeatedly in discussions like these with nary a real-life metric to back it up. How, pray tell, does having people with different colored skin lead to a "more productive work place"?

          Let me google that for you: http://news.mit.edu/2014/workp... [mit.edu]

  • Ethnic and gender diversity are all good, but what about the diversity that actually matters, Diversity of Opinion ? A study recently showed that the Facebook news team are all extreme Collectivists, which mean Individualist/Libertarian points of view get squelched in the news feed.
  • wrong premise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by supernova87a ( 532540 ) <(moc.liamtoh) (ta) (1relpek)> on Friday July 15, 2016 @04:18PM (#52520433)

    Last month, Alphabet's Google released data on diversity, saying it had more black, Latino and female employees but still lagged its goal of mirroring the population.

    You will find on closer examination that, actually, many of these tech companies' hiring results actually do mirror the population. But the relevant population that you're talking about is those people who apply to places like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. And that population is heavily underrepresented in female/black/hispanic people compared to the population at large. That is what many people seem to be willing to be blind to. If the source population from which you draw such workers is skewed, no amount of effort is going to enable you to hire 100 female/black/hispanic workers when there are only 30 to choose from. And yet people will still criticize you for it.

    These companies are not going to singlehandedly change the makeup of tech (or even just high paid) workers in the United States, no matter how much they try (or are put under political pressure to do so). And I think that it is rather disingenuous / politically correct of them to simply market that they will do it because it's fashionable to say they will. Addressing this problem is deeper and requires more of the desired target segments to go into these fields to be available to apply to the positions to start with. Which is a much more difficult challenge that most of the advocates for such policies actually don't even want to put in the effort to do themselves.

    I will openly say that I do not believe (as many people seem to reflexively parrot the phrase) that a company's workforce "needs to look like the general population". I find that a dubious proposition, usually supported by poor logic. If it happens that the general population has the propensity and skill to become tech workers in equal proportions across all demographics, then that could be true, but I doubt it. But at the same time, I support any effort to make sure that primary/secondary/higher education gives everyone access to succeed in these fields, if they want to.

    But I will not subscribe to the idea that we should skew the output of the process to some political goal, when the input of that process is what matters and determines it more than anything else. When you do that, all you get is symbolic, and often detrimental, results.

    • by Octorian ( 14086 )

      These companies are not going to singlehandedly change the makeup of tech (or even just high paid) workers in the United States, no matter how much they try (or are put under political pressure to do so). And I think that it is rather disingenuous / politically correct of them to simply market that they will do it because it's fashionable to say they will. Addressing this problem is deeper and requires more of the desired target segments to go into these fields to be available to apply to the positions to start with. Which is a much more difficult challenge that most of the advocates for such policies actually don't even want to put in the effort to do themselves.

      I do often feel that if these companies actually did manage to change the makeup of tech workers among their own ranks, to reflect what everyone wants their stats to look like, we'll get into a different kind of bizzaro world. One where a handful of big-name tech companies have *all* of the desired diversity, and the rest of the industry is *entirely* 100% non-diverse. The supply-side problem really does feel that bad.

      Does this problem need to be addressed? Yes. Is it right to point blame at companies s

    • To put some real numbers and facts behind my points above, here is what you're asking Google to do if it is supposed to "mirror the population".

      According to its own diversity report a few months ago, Google employed 32,527 people. This breaks down along some of the various populations of interest:
      • Male: 22,508
      • Female: 8,591
      • White: 19,809
      • Black: 628
      • Asian: 9,924
      • Hispanic: 1,428
      • Hawaiian/Pacific: 61
      • American Indian: 41

      If these employment stats had to mirror the population (which is 50.9% women, 12.2% b

      • Nobody is saying it needs to be complete parity, just better than it is now.
      • White: 19,809
        Black: 628
        Asian: 9,924
        Hispanic: 1,428
        Hawaiian/Pacific: 61
        American Indian: 41

        You see, this is the funny bit. If you wanted to make it representative of the general population, you'd need to hire about 5,000 MORE whites and fire about 8,000 asians. But of course, facts are wildly unpopular when people just want to play identity politics and hate on the majority.

    • > those people who apply to places like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc

      Nope. The number of minorities applying at Google and Facebook is small because few minorities are able to gain the required experience because no one in Silicon Valley will hire them.

      Anyone who has worked in Silicon Valley and has looked at their coworkers can see there is a problem. I have worked many years in Silicon Valley and I don't ever recall ever working with a black engineer.

    • I don't have mod points so, I'll symbolically +1 you. The need to "diversify the workforce" basically implies that there was racism/sexism involved in the hiring of the current workforce. That's probably not true. Companies generally hire the applicant most suited to fill the job. If few or no females/minorities apply for the job, should the company withhold hiring an ideally suited white male so that they can meet some diversity requirement? It's insanity.

      The other thing I find bizarre about this "div

    • 50% of the population has an IQ less than 100. When are these companies going to start hiring more dumb people?
      • Dumb people generally look the same as smart people. There is no press to be gained by strolling in a bunch of morons and saying, "We are proud to announce that we have hired some of the dumbest humans on earth".

        • You should tell the democrats and republicans.

          They are both about to have conventions to do almost exactly that.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      But the relevant population that you're talking about is those people who apply to places like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.

      So, you are saying there is literally nothing they can do to increase the number of applicants from those groups?

      By the way, if you read the reports about 50% is stuff about the programmes they are running to increase the supply.

      And yet people will still criticize you for it.

      You have to understand what is criticism and what is people trying to get past the basic denial that there is a problem, and what is just journalists stirring shit up to make a story. The efforts of Google and Facebook are generally viewed quite favourably, with most of the criticis

      • by Z80a ( 971949 )

        The problem is that generally people that do those outcries also demand for quotas, instead of demanding for actually looking why the problem exist and coming with a solution that actually works.
        Quotas are awfully racist, and not talking about "reverse-racism" here or even actual racism (the act of grouping the populace into races and embedding each of the groups with a common collective set of properties), but the "academic definition of racism".
        You're basically painting every minority and women here as "d

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          The problem is that generally people that do those outcries also demand for quotas

          Who? I keep hearing about these "people" but when you look at all the activity that is actually happening, there are never any quotas.

          Specifically who is calling for them? The only people I've ever heard suggest it are anti-feminists and racists.

  • by holophrastic ( 221104 ) on Friday July 15, 2016 @04:21PM (#52520459)

    Which population are we mirroring here? What percentage of the population is female? Every human being in the city -- I believe that 51% are female. How about the workforce population -- I'd bet that fewer than 50% of the workforce is female, probably closer to 30% actually. What about the population who work in office jobs amongst adults -- if we remove day-care, health care, teachers, children services, and government jobs, I'll bet it goes even lower.

    • Your ridiculously sexist off-the-cuff statistics are *surprise*, completely wrong. Women actually make up 47% of the workforce [dol.gov]. If only you had bothered to do 2 seconds of googling before you made yourself look like an idiot.
      • 47 is less than 51.
        You didn't adjust your numbers for part-time vs full time. You might want to do that.

        And, once again, you've chosen to argue my argument, instead of my point. My point was that "mirroring the population" is a meaningless sentence without first defining the population. There's nothing sexist about that. You're just throwing flames. I was quite clear when I said that the workforce females are closer to 30% than the 51%. I was very clear when I said that I was making up the numbers. I

        • So, using your very simple single-source, six-year-old resource, I'm right.

          First, it says in the report that proportionally more women are projected to enter the workforce than men by 2020, so the numbers may be even closer to parity now. Second, I was trying to point out your inherent biases in this situation. The fact that you are so far off (orders of magnitude) on your idea of the disparity between men and women in the workplace shows that you are completely out of touch with reality. Barely 50% of women even have children in the US. If you are so mistaken on such an impor

  • 13,000 employees. (Score:2, Interesting)

    Facebook has 13,000 employees. What the F do they all do? What do they need 13,000 employees for?
    • Facebook has 13,000 employees. What the F do they all do? What do they need 13,000 employees for?

      I heard a fair percentage are accountants who specialize in international taxation.

    • That's the elephant-in-the-room question right there.

  • We like our H1B's and don't give a dam about usc's

  • How fast would I get sued if I said I was deliberately trying to hire/encourage white men to improve some aspect of my company?

  • Let's say you run a business with 100 employees, 33 of whom are female. You express a desire to get that number up. But let's say after a year, you still only have 100 employees. You've made a concerted effort to favor qualified female applicants. In fact, half of your new hires are female. Problem in, you only hired ten people, to replace ten who left. Of those who left, 7 were male and 3 were female. So now your workforce is 35% female and people scream "see, you aren't even trying!"

    Unless someone expects

    • by stomv ( 80392 )
      Are you suggesting that the headcount at Facebook has been static? Facebook has grown from 4k to 12k employees in the past 3 years [statista.com]. In your example, if Facebook had hired 50% females in 2013 and 2014, and nobody ever left, it would have gone from 33% to 44% over those two years without putting a thumb on the scale at all. I'm not arguing that this is what Facebook should have done. I am arguing that your example, while perhaps applicable to other companies, absolutely does not apply to a company with the
  • Yesterday we read about `tech' `leaders' profound revulsion for Trump, and all about their "vision for an inclusive country" and just how dearly they "believe in an inclusive country." In actual fact it's a big white sausage fest of hypocrites opining about their expectations of you.

  • Alphabet's Google released data on diversity, saying it had more black, Latino and female employees but still lagged its goal of mirroring the population

    What population would that be? The US population? The OPEC population? The world population? The population of US computer science graduates? The population of Google search engine users? The population of Android users? I'd like to know what these "diversity" goals for companies are supposed to be and why.

  • I lived in the US for the past 50 years, then came to Germany. In the US, I found the whole "Affirmative Action" bit quite annoying. Even though my skin happens to be brown, I am fully capable of what I do and don't need any sort of "protection" being in a "protected class". How condescending.

    And there were a number of times in the US where I experienced what I can only call, "reverse-reverse discrimination". That is, those treating me differently for the sole reason they feared I might "play the race card

  • I'd like to see a Venn diagram of "people who think there is no bias against black people" and "people who think there is bias against programmers who are over 40".

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers

Working...