By Maxine Williams, Global Chief Diversity Officer
Over the last six years, we have worked hard to make our commitment to diversity and inclusion more than just sound bites. Our company has grown a lot. So has our approach.
We are more focused than ever on creating a diverse workforce and supporting our people. They are the ones building better products and serving the communities on our platforms. Lauryn, Director of Education Partnerships, brings people together to learn more about computer science and programming through Facebook-led initiatives, such as TechPrep and CodeFwd, and partnerships with organizations like CodePath.org, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Jason, Head of Supplier Diversity, ensures that our supply chain, from cafe produce to data center construction and global event production, is both diverse and inclusive.
Our design choices are important, too. Designing for inclusivity leads to better decisions and better products. Ian, Director of Design at Instagram, has relied on diverse teams to build the best products throughout his career in the US and now in Japan. It’s also vital to be increasingly intentional not just about what we design, but how. We are committed to ethical design and responsible innovation in tech. Margaret, VP of Product Design, insists on diverse perspectives and a broad view of social and political contexts informing how we design.
These people, their work, and our work as a company, are making a difference. Facebook Resource Groups are building community and supporting professional development while programs like Managing Bias, Managing Inclusion, Be the Ally Circles, Managing a Respectful Workplace, and Efficacy Training build everyone’s skills.
Today, there are more people of diverse backgrounds and experiences, more people of color, more women in both technical and business roles, and more underrepresented people in leadership here. Most notably, we’ve achieved higher representation of women in leadership by focusing on hiring and growing female leaders within the company. Over the last several years, the majority of new female leaders were internally promoted. Also, since 2014, we have increased the number of Black women at Facebook by 25X and the number of Black men by 10X. And importantly, even as we have grown, we have worked very hard on making Facebook a more welcoming, respectful workplace.
We are advancing our efforts with veterans by offering programs including a Military Skills Translator, which helps veterans navigate Facebook opportunities, and a mentorship program through our Vets and Allies Facebook Resource Group. We’re proud that the number of veterans at Facebook continues to grow, and now makes up 2.2% of our workforce.
We are also committed to disability inclusion and are particularly proud of our top score and naming as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” by the Disability Equality Index. We have expanded our disability and inclusion recruiting efforts globally to provide more opportunity for job satisfaction and advancement, and we have launched new initiatives. In Brazil, Israel and Japan, among other countries, we partner directly with local community organizations, universities and government agencies to connect qualified candidates with disabilities to open roles.
Our commitment to and support of the LGBTQ+ community is unwavering. We’re proud to have earned 100% on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) 2019 Corporate Equality Index (CEI) and the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality. This is the fifth year in a row that we have received the best score. The HRC recognition reflects the hard work that this community and its allies across the company do to make LGBTQ+ inclusion a priority for the people at Facebook and on our platform around the world. About 8% of US-based Facebook employees identify as LGBTQ+, based on a voluntary survey.
Our work creating an inclusive environment where people from all backgrounds can thrive is ongoing. We are proud of our partnerships and investments such as:
- The Align Program: We made a $4.2-million investment in the program which increases the number of women and underrepresented people pursuing careers in computer science by providing students who did not study computer science with the opportunity to earn a master’s degree in computer science.
- Research Operations & Academic Relations: With Facebook Research’s arm (ROAR) we are recruiting, retaining and advancing diverse researchers and computer science professionals and developing customized inclusion programs across research areas. Partnerships include Black in AI, LatinX in AI, Women in Machine Learning, Data Science Africa, African Master’s in Machine Intelligence, and AI4Good.
- Women LEAD and LEAP: These internal leadership programs help women who work at Facebook build community and work on their most relevant challenges, from supporting other women to scaling impact while maintaining balance.
- Community Summits: These employee-led events build community and professional development among our Black@, Latin@, Asian and Pacific Islanders@, and Pride@ Facebook Resource Groups around the world.
Imagine what’s possible when we get this right.
We envision a company where in the next five years, at least 50% of our workforce will be women, people who are Black, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islanders, people with two or more ethnicities, people with disabilities, and veterans. In doing this, we aim to double our number of women globally and Black and Hispanic employees in the US. It will be a company that reflects and better serves the people on our platforms, services and products. It will be a more welcoming community advancing our mission and living up to the responsibility that comes with it.
These are ambitious goals and incredibly important ones. They add to our tangible ways of tracking our progress and measuring success. And they also create accountability, which is absolutely key to progress.
Getting it right is critical to Facebook and to the communities and countries where we work and live. We are dedicated and willing to try new things, and we’ll get there. A proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” That’s the only way we’ll reach our goal – by going together. Here is the full 2019 Diversity Report.