For the first time ever, Facebook today publicly revealed statistics outlining diversity among its employees. By offering up the data, Facebook has joined a growing, transparent movement in Silicon Valley; Google and Yahoo have also released diversity numbers, and all of the companies say they're striving to do better. "At Facebook, diversity is essential to achieving our mission," said Facebook's Maxine Williams. "We build products to connect the world, and this means we need a team that understands and reflects many different communities, backgrounds and cultures." But at least for right now, Facebook's diversity figures follow disappointing trends seen across the tech industry.
Globally, Facebook's workforce is 69 percent male and 31 percent female. Within the United States, 57 percent of company employees are white, 34 percent are Asian, and 4 percent are Hispanic. Only 2 percent of Facebook's US workers are black. Facebook doesn't break out global ethnicity numbers, but to the company's credit, it's also not shying away from unflattering data about its technology division. A vast majority — 85 percent — of global employees holding tech jobs are male. And again, inside the US they're mostly white or Asian.
There's a more even split between men and women in non-tech jobs
Moving away from tech-oriented jobs paints a more promising picture, at least from a gender perspective. 53 percent of global "non-tech" employees are male, with women making up 47 percent. But ethnicity is a trouble spot here as well.
Facebook is also sharing diversity stats on its leadership positions, and they're not great. Worldwide, men hold 77 percent of top jobs at the company. That's only slightly better than Google, where 79 percent of leadership positions are filled by men. In the US, Facebook's senior spots are mostly held by white people. Like its fellow companies, Facebook hints this is a direct result of the current pool of qualified, job-seeking talent. Statistics bear out that explanation, but the company insists there's more it can do.
"As these numbers show, we have more work to do – a lot more," Williams said. "But the good news is that we’ve begun to make progress." Facebook launched a strategic diversity team last year and says the move is already producing noticeable improvements. It's also furthering partnerships with institutions and groups like Girls Who Code, the National Society of Black Engineers, and Yes We Code. These are steps the company hopes will result in a more diverse staff in the future — both inside Facebook and throughout in the industry.