Facebook’s fifth annual diversity report shows slow improvement


Facebook’s annual diversity report is out, and if you’ve been following these for the past few years, you already know what to expect: small improvements that, while welcome, are still an indication that bigger change in employee diversity at the company may demand a different approach to what Facebook has been doing so far.

It’s not that Facebook isn’t getting better at hiring more women and minorities — once again, the company has improved in overall diversity by both gender and race across the board. Female representation in senior leadership went up 2 percent from last year to 30 percent, and up 1.3 percent to 36.3 percent across the entire company.

Black employees have grown from 2 percent to 4 percent of the company over the past five years, and Hispanic employees from 4 percent to 5 percent in that time period — but those numbers look far worse when looking at technical and leadership roles, where numbers have stayed flat for the past half-decade for both of those ethnicities.

Despite improvements, however, Facebook is still a company that is predominantly male and mostly white and Asian — a fact that seems unlikely to drastically change in the near future. And after five years of Facebook releasing these reports, more than two-thirds of senior company leadership are still white men.

It’s not the first time that Facebook’s skewed employee diversity has been an issue, either — earlier this year, Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) took some time out of a congressional hearing in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal to grill CEO Mark Zuckerberg about increasing diversity at the company, something that Zuckerberg said that Facebook was “focused on.”