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Pinterest misses, then lowers, goal for hiring women in engineering roles

When progress goes in reverse

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Last year, Pinterest set a series of public goals for its diversity hiring. It announced its intention to hire women for at least 30 percent of the full-time engineering roles that were available in 2016. This week the company announced it missed that target — women only made up 22 percent of the engineer hires — and then decided to lower its hiring goal for 2017.

Sure, why not? It’s still 2016, let’s just continue to lower our expectations for everything. We’re on a roll.

“We updated our women in engineering hiring rate goal to 25% for 2017. We still aspire to 30% — but realize it’s likely going to take more than 12 months to get there,“ Pinterest wrote in a blog post.

To be fair to Pinterest, it’s one of the better tech companies when it comes to diversity — it actually increased the amount of women in its tech division by 5 percent in 2016, and it exceeds just about every other tech company when it comes to the gender balance in its business division. But it’s hard to improve diversity in your company by lowering your goals.

If Pinterest can fix the gender balance in its business division, it can fix the balance in engineering — and it shouldn’t take two full years to accomplish it. Just go out and hire more qualified women.