Let’s start cutting tech companies some slack over the diversity of their workplaces.
Facebook may be the latest company to be lambasted in the media for a perceived insufficient diversity of employees, with USA Today going as far as to state Facebook’s workforce is indicative of "a business sector dominated by white men."
Indeed, Facebook, which released its demographic figures, is 70 percent male and 57 percent white.
But it is an extremely, very diverse company and hardly "dominated by white men."
To begin with, Facebook (with apologies to founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg) is actually run by Sheryl Sandberg — definitely not a white man and certainly a dominant force for the reason that company. She actually is among the business enterprise world’s most prominent female executives. And, through her Lean In Foundation, she’s been an inspiring voice for empowering ladies in leadership.
Then, let’s consider the actual break down of employees. Yes, Facebook says its workforce is 57 percent white. But that’s actually more diverse compared to the average U.S. company. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American employed workforce is 67 percent white. So, if hiring whites is an integral criticism point, Facebook’s employees are actually 15% less white compared to the U.S. workforce.
Why? Well, quite simply, Facebook employs far more minorities than others. The Asian workforce at Facebook represent 34 percent of its employees. The national average? Five percent. So, in terms of hiring Asians, an integral minority group, Facebook ‘s almost seven times above other American companies.
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It really is true there are two areas that require improvenent, namely the hiring of blacks and Hispanics. Facebook’s employees are 2 percent black, pitched against a U.S. workforce of 12 percent, and 4 percent Hispanic, against a workforce pool of 16 percent.
Then there may be the issue of why the business is 70 percent male. Looks unbalanced, right? Not necessarily. In line with the Commerce Department, women constitute just 24 percent of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. Which means the pool of available candidates for Facebook’s open positions (it really is, in the end, a STEM company), is 76 percent male. Yet it found ways to be 6 percentage points more diverse than its available candidates.
Diversifying workforces is important. Which means hiring more racial minorities. Which means gender balance. This means recruiting people from different countries or who was raised in various economic backgrounds. In addition, it means supporting programs that develop and educate an improved potential workforce. Businesses understand that hiring is the the very first thing in growth. You need to seek out the very best candidates for your business needs, and diversity takes care of with new opinions, new viewpoints and an improved knowledge of customers.
Facebook realizes that. Google, which faced similar criticism, knows that. The majority of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies were created and grew with diversity at heart, and also have made great strides. Yet they face derision.
That’s wrong. The diversity of the companies ought to be celebrated, not shamed. Could they do more in minority and gender hiring? Maybe. It’s likely that, given the type of their employee bases, they are doing just as much as they can.
That should be cheered, and it must be the model for businesses of most sizes and in every industries. Pundits should save the boo’s for a genuine controversy and hit the "like" button on the example Facebook and others are setting.
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