iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Facebook’s diversity report released this week shows the typical employee at the social network is still white and male despite a “positive but modest change” reflected in its hiring demographics over the past year.
The percentage of employees who are women increased to 32 percent this year — up 1 percent from the previous year, according to the demographics report posted on Facebook’s website. Facebook’s U.S. workforce is 55 percent white — down 2 percent from the previous year.
Women held 16 percent of technology-based jobs at Facebook this year, up 1 percent from last year’s report.
Blacks are the most underrepresented minority in the report, comprising just 2 percent of Facebook’s workforce, the same percentage the company reported last year.
“As these numbers show, we have more work to do — a lot more. But the good news is that we’ve begun to make progress,” Maxine Williams, Facebook’s Global Head of Diversity, wrote in a blog post.
Silicon Valley’s push for more diversity in its workforce became a rallying point last year after Google, Facebook and other key players in technology released their diversity reports showing workplaces that were largely white and male dominated.
Facebook launched a strategic diversity team to address the challenge and has since implemented a number of initiatives to help attract a more diverse workforce.
Among them are quadrupling the number of paid opportunities at Facebook University, a program that “invites college freshmen, generally from underrepresented groups who demonstrate exceptional talent and interest in Computer Science, to spend most of their summer working on teams with Facebook mentors, learning the skills we are looking for at the company,” Williams said.
Facebook for Business is another track at the company attracting students interested in non-engineering career paths, she said.
The company is also sponsoring “Lean In Circles” to help connect women (and some men) exploring careers in computer science with female mentors working in the field.
Taking a play from the National Football League, Williams said Facebook will also use the “Rooney Rule” for some parts of its business, encouraging recruiters “to look longer, harder and smarter for more diversity in the talent pool.”
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