Facebook Attributes Its Lack of Diversity on Educational Pipeline

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On Thursday, Facebook released a diversity update revealing a slight increase in diversity of new senior leadership hires.
“While our current representation in senior leadership is 3% Black, 3% Hispanic and 27% women, of new senior leadership hires at Facebook in the US over the last 12 months, 9% are Black, 5% are Hispanic and 29% are women.”

But Facebook still has a lot of work to do in diversifying its company. In 2013, only .56 percent of Facebook new hires were Black, and according to the company, their lack of minority hires is due to the lack of eligible people of color.

“It has become clear that at the most fundamental level, appropriate representation in technology or any other industry will depend upon more people having the opportunity to gain necessary skills through the public education system. Currently, only 1 in 4 US high schools teach computer science. In 2015, seven states had fewer than 10 girls take the Advanced Placement Computer Science exam and no girls took the exam in three states. No Black people took the exam in nine states including Mississippi where about 50% of high school graduates are Black, and 18 states had fewer than 10 Hispanics take the exam with another five states having no Hispanic AP Computer Science (CS) test takers,” states the company.

 As a result, Facebook is introducing a new initiative.

“We want every person in this country to have the opportunity to learn the skills that our industry needs — and we want the chance to hire them. This is why we are committing $15 million to Code.org over the next five years. Facebook’s five-year commitment will help Code.org to drive the development of curricula, public school teacher-training and student skills-building, particularly among traditionally underrepresented populations in engineering and computer science. It will give thousands of students across the country the access to computer science they deserve,” Facebook announced.

There’s still the issue, however, of Facebook’s culture of insensitivity to people of color. Back in February, Facebook employees had defaced “Black Lives Matter” on the walls of the company. CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg responded by stating, “There are specific issues affecting the Black community in the United States, coming from a history of oppression and racism,” he had posted. “’Black Lives Matter’ doesn’t mean other lives don’t – it’s simply asking that the Black community also achieves the justice they deserve.”

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