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Facebook's First Diversity Report: Just About as Bad as Yahoo’s and Google's

Bad to very bad, but social network says it is committed to improvement.

Asa Mathat
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

Facebook on Wednesday released its first diversity report, revealing that its U.S. staff is more than 90 percent white and Asian and its global staff is only 31 percent female.

For comparison’s sake, both Google and Yahoo recently said that whites and Asians make up around 90 percent of their employee bases. Google is 30 percent female, while Yahoo is 37 percent.

The publication of these reports come in the wake of pressure from Jesse Jackson on a recent Silicon Valley tour to push the industry’s largest companies to be more transparent on the lack of diversity inside their companies.

“As these numbers show, we have more work to do — a lot more,” Facebook’s Global Head of Diversity Maxine Williams said in a blog post. “But the good news is that we’ve begun to make progress…Since our strategic diversity team launched last year, we’re already seeing improved new hire figures and lower attrition rates for underrepresented groups.”

The company did not provide details on the new hiring figures or lower attrition rates. It also did not break down its workforce by age.

Facebook also said it is partaking in a number of new initiatives to try to add more “underrepresented” groups of people to its company.

On the tech side of the business, things are worse: Like Yahoo, Facebook’s global technical staff is only 15 percent female. Female employees make up 17 percent of Google’s technical staff.

And in the U.S., whites and Asians comprise 94 percent of Facebook’s tech staff.

There’s also a long way to go at the senior levels of the company. Broken down by gender, Facebook’s global senior staff — director level and above — is only 23 percent female. In the U.S., 74 percent of senior positions are held by whites and 19 percent by Asians. Senior staff is just four percent Hispanic and one two percent black (Facebook said it updated this number after originally publishing an incorrect percentage).

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