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Facebook Businesses

Tech Workforce Diversity At Facebook Similar To Google And Yahoo 265 265

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 Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:58AM (#47324441)

    Why force diversity? There is nothing worthwhile in diversity in and of itself, despite the dogma of 40+ years of social engineering.

    I had to laugh at Google's I/O presentations yesterday; they were obviously finding every single non-white, non-male person, sexually ambiguous person they could find for the presentations. Don't get me wrong: None of the talks were bad; everyone was competent. But it was obvious that Google was going out of its way to seem inclusive. It just comes off as needy and foolish. "See, we're INCLUSIVE!". /notes from a white patriarch

  • The can of worms... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ZeroPly (881915) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:59AM (#47324451)
    ... congratulations on opening it without any further ado...

    Is it really skills and training? Or is it something more innate like IQ or visualization ability, especially for the technical jobs? Do we really want to find out?
  • by neminem (561346) <neminem@@@gmail...com> on Thursday June 26, 2014 @11:02AM (#47324475) Homepage

    I'm pretty sure that is factually incorrect, unless you literally have never been to Slashdot, or any other site that allows comments, ever.

    It's also completely accurate. It is certainly not completely impossible that there are occasionally racists (or more likely, people who have slight biases and don't even realize it) in hiring departments for major companies. It is, however, much more likely that this issue is more cultural and/or class-based: one, minorities are more likely to be poorer by virtue of having been marginalized in the past, and poor people are less likely to have had the opportunities required to get into the tech field. Two, cultures push different things, and minorities who stick together form cultures. That is not racist, that's, well, obvious. Not all skin-color-based minorities stick together, obviously, but enough do (which is also partially class-based, as you don't really have a choice to have been born in a crap environment, and it's harder to get yourself out of one.)

    As for women, there's a lot more evidence that HR departments do discriminate, and some more obvious reasons why they might want to (which are still BS and should be burned mercilessly, but which still make sense why they happen). Still, it is *also* almost certainly true that more men than women have the inclination and ability (more the former than the latter) required to get hired at tech companies, and that's not really the fault of those companies.

  • I call bullshit (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JustNiz (692889) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @11:21AM (#47324661)

    can we get over these complete bullshit stories about gender and race prejudice in high tech offices? Nothing I have seen during my 35 years of being a software developer at many different companies has suggested this is even remotely true.

    Literally every company I have ever worked at has gone above and beyond all existing laws to make sure there is absolutely no racial or gender-prejudice in hiring in any way . In fact they err on the side of caution so much it actually seems to be a positive advantage at interview time to be a female, or racial minority, or disabled. if you're all 3 you could probably name your own salary (joke).

    I refuse to believe that these days anyone can't get a job at a high-tech company just because of skin color, gender or racial origin. Not least because if they could even slightly prove that, they could sue and it would be all over the news, and the companies themselves are hyper-sensitive to this.

    I'd bet a stack on that the fact that high-tech companies are still more filled with white guys than anything else solely because that where nearly all the (actually suitable) job applications come from in the first place.

    If you want to force an actually very biassed and unnatural 50% racial and gender balance in the work place, then you need to look at why its still mostly white guys that apply in the first place, not blame the companies for hiring from the pool of suitable applicants who are actually out there.

  • Awesome (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PeeAitchPee (712652) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @11:21AM (#47324669)
    So when can we expect to see the diversity reports on players in the NFL and NBA? How about gender diversity as it relates to employment in the healthcare industry?
  • by bmajik (96670) <matt@mattevans.org> on Thursday June 26, 2014 @11:34AM (#47324785) Homepage Journal

    There is nothing worthwhile in diversity in and of itself

    This is the attitude that needs to stop. Diversity may not be a value in your pantheon, but it's not social engineering to want an inclusive society. It's wisdom.

    Why does it need to stop?

    A huge problem -- that few people seem to speak about -- is that using gender, nationality, or, most frustratingly -- race, as a measure of "diversity" is implicitly bigoted.

    The diversity that people _claim_ to want is one of perspectives, life experiences, etc.

    The things that are relatively easy to bucketize - gender identity, race, socio-economic status, etc.... these things in and of themselves are not a valuable source of "diversity"

    The implicit bigotry in the "diversity" argument says that, if you hire more black people, you'll get much different ideas than what you already have. Why? Because all black people are different from the white people you already have.

    I've never seen a more stark illustration of _racism_ then that.

    The conjecture here is that if a population distribution doesn't' look the way certain people expect it to, then there is some upstream social problem that needs tinkering with.

    That conjecture is only ever true or false on a case by case basis. The real problem that needs to stop is for people to believe this conjecture in the general case; the real problem is that people don't even agree or are not willing to state what their expectations are for the "ideal" population distribution, but, are still willing to cry foul and to assert that a problem exists.

  • by erp_consultant (2614861) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @11:37AM (#47324815)

    You know, the deeper we look into these kinds of issues the more interesting it gets.

    The real question here is not "why are there so few minorities at Company X" it's "why are there so few qualified candidates from minority group X to fill open positions?". We already have diversity legislation in place at Universities in America. In fact, there are more women graduates than men. Yet so few of the females grads are getting degrees in CS. Why is that? It is certainly not because of lack of opportunity. Could it be that maybe - just maybe - women don't want to be programmers?

    How about African Americans and other minority groups? Well, clearly the number of University students as a percentage of the total population is much lower than society in general. The question is why? Partly economic to be sure. But loans and grants are available to nearly everyone. Yet the number of black and latino college entrants is far lower, on a percentage basis, than they are for whites. Why is that?

    Is it possible that, in general, black and latino kids just don't put as high a value on a college education as white kids do? And, therefore, just don't work as hard to get the good grades necessary to get into a good college? What part does having children out of wedlock play in this? Black and latino women have a much higher instance of this than either white or Asian women.

    I'm not trying to point fingers or cast blame here and I certainly don't pretend to have all the answers. But it does raise some interesting questions.

  • by NoImNotNineVolt (832851) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @11:51AM (#47324963) Homepage
    As much as I hate "USian", what's the preferred alternative? American? America isn't a country, it's a pair of continents. Argentinians are no less American than New Yorkers are. "Citizens/residents of the United States of America" is too wordy. So it's down to "USian", which is retarded, or "American", which is ridiculously arrogant. When it comes down to it, I'll take retardation over arrogance.
  • by HappyPsycho (1724746) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @12:09PM (#47325143)

    Remembering (early 2000s) my comp sci classes (and to a lesser degree higher math) I was pretty heavily outnumbered (compared to my classmates back then I'm black), the few girls in class had it even worse. As soon as I went to one of my electives (even something science like Bio or Chem) the makeup changed, e.g. enter the arts department and I was once again outnumbered but then again so were the white dudes (mostly women with a decent mix but still dominated by white chicks).

    While I have no issues with diversity (I stand to benefit), I fail to see how facebook and family can do much about this other than they are currently doing (the various competions or http://tech.slashdot.org/story... [slashdot.org]). They could just hire the applicable minorities and have them stand around just to make up numbers, but I don't think that helps anyone.

    I guess in their defense these companies should post the matching numbers of the diversity of the applicants, problem is that is near impossible due to not everyone gets called in for an interview and it would most definitely get called racist to require your resume to include your skin color (sex can probably be guessed with a high degree of accuracy).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2014 @12:52PM (#47325629)

    In my ~250 employees IT company 100% of the HR staff are woman. I don't think they would hire men for the job even if they found any qualified.

    As for the IT people themselves I think around 15% are woman, for the managers the ratio is a little better though. But really that is a lot better my college class, I actually think my company is biased to hiring woman because it is so hard to find them (and because the HR staff is 100% woman.)

  • Re:SO (Score:5, Interesting)

    by russotto (537200) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @01:11PM (#47325825) Journal

    Non-hispanic whites are 64% of the US population, but only 57% of Facebook's employee base. White people are under-represented.

  • Re:SO (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Shakrai (717556) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @01:15PM (#47325861) Journal

    That's because the Asian-American experience doesn't speak in favor of the sort of social engineering desired by the types that favor affirmative action and other sorts of reverse discrimination. They're literally at a loss to explain why the Asian-American community isn't mired in poverty in spite of the best efforts of the evil white man to keep them down. They also ignore the experiences of the multitude of different white peoples (Italians, Irish, Poles, etc.) that faced discrimination and somehow managed to build productive lives for themselves and their progeny.

    The only answer they have is to take from the successful and give to the unsuccessful, which brings to mind the quote about teaching a man to fish....

Counting in binary is just like counting in decimal -- if you are all thumbs. -- Glaser and Way

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