Facebook’s workforce is slightly more ethnically diverse this year, but Hispanic and black employees still make up a small percentage of the tech firm’s U.S. staff.
As of June 30, about 3 percent of the tech firm’s labor force in the U.S. were black and 5 percent were Hispanic, an uptick of 1 percent, according to data released by Facebook on Wednesday.
It was the first time since 2014, though, that the tech firm has increased its percentage of black and Hispanic employees.
Get tech news in your inbox weekday mornings. Sign up for the free Good Morning Silicon Valley newsletter.
White and Asian workers still made up the bulk of the tech firm’s U.S. employees. About 49 percent were white and 40 percent were Asian. The rest of the workforce was mixed race or another ethnicity such as American Indian or Native Hawaiian.
Globally, about 65 percent of Facebook’s workforce were male and 35 percent were female. Last year, about 33 percent of the tech firm’s workforce were female.
“We aren’t where we’d like to be, but we’re encouraged that over the past year, representation for people from underrepresented groups at Facebook has increased,” wrote Facebook’s Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams.
The executive highlighted Facebook’s training on managing unconscious bias, its “diversity slate approach” so hiring managers consider candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and the company’s mentorship and training program for minority students.
The tech firm said that women make up 27 percent of new graduate hires in engineering.
Diversity has become a hot-button issue in Silicon Valley, but many companies have struggled to hire and retain minorities.
Facebook has also faced criticism before for its remarks on the issue. And unlike other tech firms such as Twitter and Pinterest, the company does not publicly disclose what diversity goals they’re trying to hit annually.
Last year, Williams wrote that “appropriate representation in technology or any other industry will depend upon more people having the opportunity to gain necessary skills through the public education system.”
That comment did not go over well with some minorities and advocates, who thought the tech firm was implying that there weren’t enough talented minorities to hire and was blaming the challenge on a pipeline problem. Some took to social media to criticize the social media giant, using the hashtag “FBNoExcuses.”
As Facebook tries to “bring the world closer” together, the tech firm acknowledges that a diverse workforce is important.
“Diversity helps us build better products, make better decisions and better serve our community,” Williams wrote.
As of June 30, the tech firm had 20,658 workers worldwide, a 43 percent increase compared to the previous year.
Photo: Outside Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park in December 2015. (John Green/Bay Area News Group)
Tags: diversity, facebook, workforce