Tech template: FB staffers too mostly white & male

WASHINGTON (TIP): When it comes to the gender and ethnic diversity of its work force, Facebook’s record is on par with the rest of Silicon Valley. It’s overwhelmingly male, white and Asian. And white men dominate the management ranks. The social networking company, which has about 1.28 billion users globally and turned 10 years old this year, disclosed on Wednesday that 31% of its 6,500 workers worldwide were women. The ratio is even more imbalanced among Facebook’s tech workforce, which is 85% male.

In its US operations — where the bulk of Facebook’s employees work — about 57% of the workers are white, 34% Asian, 4% Hispanic, 2% black and 3% of another race or two or more races. As with other Silicon Valley companies, Facebook’s management is more white and male than its workforce at large. Globally, 77% of senior level employees are men. And in the US, 74% of the company’s managers are white, 19% Asian, 4% Hispanic, 2% black, and 2% of another ethnicity or two or more races.

“As these numbers show, we have more work to do — a lot more,” Facebook’s global head of diversity, Maxine Williams, wrote in the blog post announcing the data. “Diversity is something that we’re treating as everyone’s responsibility at Facebook, and the challenge of finding qualified but underrepresented candidates is one that we’re addressing as part of a strategic effort across Facebook. Since our strategic diversity team launched last year, we’re already seeing improved new hire figures and lower attrition rates for underrepresented groups.” Facebook’s disclosure follows similar reports recently released by other major Internet companies, including Google, Yahoo and LinkedIn. Older Silicon Valley companies, such as Intel, Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard, have also released their employment diversity data.

Unlike many of its fellow tech companies, Facebook declined to release its EEO-1 report, which provides a more detailed breakdown of its American workforce and must be filed annually with the US government. The Rev Jesse Jackson Sr, the president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, had urged Facebook and other major tech companies, including Google and eBay, to release their EEO-1 reports in personal pleadings this spring at their annual shareholder meetings.

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