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Tech Workforce Diversity At Facebook Similar To Google And Yahoo 265

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the but-how-many-are-brogrammers? dept.
theodp (442580) writes Facebook is mostly white dudes, writes Valleywag's Sam Biddle, cutting to the chase of Facebook's inaugural disclosure of diversity figures. "We're serious about building a workplace that reflects a broad range of experience, thought, geography, age, background, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture and many other characteristics," said Facebook, which has a tech workforce that's 15% female and only 1% Black. By contrast, Wikipedia's Baseball Color Line article notes that "by the late 1950s, the percentage of blacks on Major League teams matched or exceeded that of the general population." So, is it surprising that the company whose stated mission is "to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected" is having problems connecting with the general population in 2014?
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Tech Workforce Diversity At Facebook Similar To Google And Yahoo

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  • by FictionPimp (712802) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:52AM (#47324369) Homepage

    What is the percentage of black, women, etc people with the skills and training that google, facebook, etc is looking for?

    Are there out of work fully qualified programmers that can't work at facebook because they are black? Maybe the ratio is the way it is simply because there are not enough minorities looking for high end development work (Unlike baseball). That doesn't make it Facebook's fault if it is truly hiring the most qualified workers.

  • We all know... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:54AM (#47324397)

    That the color of your skin matters more than your abilities! Yay for ending racism!

  • by Wain13001 (1119071) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:56AM (#47324423)

    wtf are you even talking about? No, it's not surprising that not many black USians work for facebook. Seeing as how not that many Black USians work for tech companies of any sort. Wouldn't you think the latter has a lot more to do with facebook's potential diversity, or lack thereof? Wanting to be diverse doesn't mean refusing to hire white men if that's the majority of the available pool of applicants (not even getting into who's better qualified).

  • by d0rp (888607) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:56AM (#47324427)
    The "general population", and the "population of qualified tech workers" are two very different things...
  • by xdor (1218206) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:56AM (#47324433)
    Stop talking about this crap.
  • by Brannon (221550) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @11:04AM (#47324501)

    out of thin air. The internal demographics of these large companies reflect the demographics of graduates in the relevant fields. The right answer is to get a more diversified college population in computer engineering and computer science, which requires getting more K-12 interest in those fields amongst underrepresented groups. And that's exactly what the big companies are doing--investing in programs that will build a more diversified pipeline of future employees.

    The comparison against MLB is outrageously stupid. African-Americans were already playing baseball in high numbers in separate leagues; MLB just started poaching players from those leagues. Are you claiming that there are some all-female or all-black companies full of millions of computer engineers that Facebook could start hiring from tomorrow?

  • by hsmith (818216) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @11:14AM (#47324583)
    I went to a local Google office yesterday to watch the IO keynote.

    Number of people in the room? 40

    Number of women in the room? 2, 1 was from corporate.

    Free to sign up, free to attend, so where were the ladies? I think this is just another made up issue people are looking to find a solution for.
  • by Lab Rat Jason (2495638) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @11:15AM (#47324603)
    I don't think I'd go so far as to call the GP racist, and I can see the point GP is trying to make. I live in an area that is predominately white... and by predominately white... I mean like 99.9% or something like that. During a brief time I was entrusted to do the hiring interviews for my department. I only interviewed one black person and one woman. I ended up hiring them both because they both seemed to have the skills we needed. The guy I hired ended up not really being able to handle the work, and was let go. The woman I hired ended up leaving for a more challenging (and presumably better paying) company. From the outside you could say that the company was racist because we didn't have any black developers, or that we didn't have any women developers... but the truth is much more complex: Our sample size for non-white non-male programmers is too small to be statistically significant, and within the sample size we had one under-qualified, and one over-qualified. We actually hired both, and both left the company for perfectly normal reasons, bringing the development staff back to an all-male all-white mix.(not a mix really)

    So when the GP asks about the ratio of available talent, I get the sentiment... although with a company the size of FB or Google and with a local diversity like Kalifornia's, you'd think the statistical significance of those numbers would mean more, which is why people are a bit outraged about it.
  • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @11:19AM (#47324643) Journal

    Not really.

    I live in a black suburb (it's cheap) with poor people, 3 blocks down from a Jewish white suburb. The black suburb is full of trash, broken down cars, town homes with no yards, rental properties, liquor stores, and copious gang and firearms violence--all the amenities of a poor, black ghetto. The white suburb is made up of large single-family homes, huge yards, separated residential and commercial zones, and clean, well-maintained roads--because the city sends more road work out there so the people they collect the most taxes from don't leave.

    There's also a poor white ghetto out east. Muscle cars, double-wide trailers, booze, slutty girls, drugs, and people occasionally get hit with a pipe wrench. These white folk aren't like those white folk, or like those black folk.

    People identify culturally by geographic area, by surrounding interests, and by race and smaller cliques (IT people, security people, bouncers, car people, martial artists, etc.). Putting any critical mass of people together will develop a unique culture. We have plenty of black doctors and lawyers, probably as a result of racial tension: black people get out of slavery, they either become angry, miserable, violent sub-humans or they become philosophers who want to work for the greater good. Time goes on, and black people get rights, but they still get treated like shit. The racial tensions still exist today, and it creates the same forces: they either become angry, miserable, violent sub-humans or they become philosophers who want to do something in the world.

    White people, by contrast, are largely just coasting. Racial tensions to us are mostly in the form of black people getting angry at us for saying something stupid. Nobody has told us white folk that the black man is keeping us down. We aren't living under the world's first black president. No white man in history has ever given a speech about how, one day, his children might be allowed to go to school and learn to read and write like all them black children. There is a lot less pessimism, and we just find it natural that everything we want should be at our fingertips.

    Trying to cross that barrier is easy for a white man, but a black man has to get over all this shit that basically makes him feel like the world's holding him back. The ones that can push by that naturally have more energy--more optimism--and reach for higher goals. Lots of white folk can't imagine being a doctor or a lawyer or a physicist, but can imagine being a computer programmer or some other mundane job that sounds meaningful but also doesn't sound too hard.

    It's just culture. Humans recognize patterns; the most disruptive effect of this is recognizing patterns in human appearance. If we were all white, we would start recognizing round-faced humans separately from square-jawed humans.

  • Re:SO (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2014 @11:50AM (#47324947)

    ....said no one who wasn't white, male, and middle-class.

  • by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @12:04PM (#47325083)

    As for women, there's a lot more evidence that HR departments do discriminate

    Which is ironic given that almost 60% of HR staff are women [aol.com], apparently. Maybe HR companies should start hiring more men to bring a male perspective and lived experience to these roles?

  • Re: SO (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2014 @12:45PM (#47325547)

    I hope companies can hire the most talented candidate and not base decisions on something else. Reverse racism is still racism.

  • Re:SO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by James Clay (2881489) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @01:05PM (#47325777)
    The article is wrong. Facebook (and Google and Yahoo) isn't mostly white guys. It is mostly white and Asian guys. White representation in tech is not, by and large, larger than their percentage of the population at large. It is that Asians are vastly "over represented". These articles always lump Asians in with the white guys because they have no interest in pointing out that if your metric is proportional representation you are talking about getting rid of Asians.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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