clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Facebook says changes to how it hires are making the company more diverse

Facebook is less white and less male than it was a year ago.

Facebook execs at the company’s Aquila drone flight test

Facebook released new employee diversity metrics on Wednesday, the fourth straight year the company has provided data on the demographics of its employees.

Like most tech companies, Facebook is still predominantly white, and in technical and leadership roles, predominantly male. But the numbers are mostly better than they were a year ago, and in some cases, much better than they were in 2014.

A few of the key metrics:

  • 35 percent of Facebook’s global workforce is women, up from 33 percent last year and 31 percent in 2014.
  • 89 percent of Facebook’s U.S. employees are either white or Asian, down from 90 percent in 2016 and 91 percent in 2014.
  • Facebook’s senior leadership is 92 percent white or Asian, the same as it was in 2016. That number was 93 percent in 2014.
  • Women hold 19 percent of Facebook’s technical jobs, up from 17 percent in 2016 and 15 percent in 2014.
  • Women make up 28 percent of Facebook’s senior leadership, up from 27 percent in 2016 and 23 percent in 2014.
Facebook leadership diversity <br>

That is to say: While Facebook obviously has work to do, the company is less white and less male than it was three years ago. Facebook’s headcount has nearly tripled since Q2 2014, growing by more than 13,000 employees, which also makes changing the demographics harder.

“I have other people say to me, ‘I visited Facebook the other day and I walked around and there were so many brown faces!’” said Maxine Williams, Facebook’s global director of diversity, in an interview with Recode. “Things like that make me happy ... but I want more and more and more and more and more.”

Facebook diversity in tech roles

Williams says there are a number of reasons Facebook is becoming more diverse, including optional training courses for management and employees on unconscious biases and building inclusive work environments.

But one of the most notable factors has been Facebook’s version of the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires hiring managers to interview at least one minority candidate for every open job.

A year ago, this requirement was used for only a small group of teams within Facebook. Now, Williams says it is implemented for every global hire.

“For every increase in representation for an under-represented group, it means we are hiring them at rates that are higher than the rates we are for majority groups,” Williams said. “To outpace means there is a deliberate driving engine behind it.”

Facebook is not the only company trying to bring more diversity to Silicon Valley — but it is one of the leaders. The entire tech industry has been under pressure for years to increase diversity in what has historically been a male-dominated industry.

This article originally appeared on