Facebook 2018 Diversity Report: Reflecting on Our Journey

By Maxine Williams, Chief Diversity Officer

Today we’re publishing our fifth annual diversity report — and we wanted to take this opportunity to share what we believe is working and where we can do better.

Diversity is critical to our success as a company. People from all backgrounds rely on Facebook to connect with others, and we will better serve their needs with a more diverse workforce. Since 2014, we’ve made some progress increasing the number of people from traditionally underrepresented groups employed at Facebook.

The percentage of women globally at Facebook has increased from 31% in 2014 to 36% today.

  • Women in technical roles have increased from 15% to 22%.
  • Women in business and sales roles grew from 47% to 57%.
  • Women in senior leadership expanded from 23% to 30%.

The number of women at Facebook has increased 5X over the last five years. The number of women in technical roles has increased over 7X. We have also nearly doubled the number of women graduates we hire in software engineering from 16% to 30%. This is despite the fact that the number of women undergraduates in the U.S. doing computer science has remained flat at 18%.

We’ve also increased the proportion of Asian, Black and Hispanic employees across the company.

  • Black and Hispanic employees overall increased from 2% to 4%, and 4% to 5% respectively.
  • The percentage of Black employees in business and sales roles grew from 2% to 8% and Hispanic employees from 6% to 8%.

But we continue to have challenges recruiting Black and Hispanic employees in technical roles and senior leadership.

  • The percentage of Black employees in technical roles remained flat, as did the percentage of Black employees in leadership roles, at 1% and 2% respectively
  • The percentage of Hispanic employees in technical roles remained flat at 3% and dropped in leadership roles from 4% to 3%

What’s Worked

We know that recruitment and retention are key. It’s why we’ve worked to build deep relationships with organizations that support people of color and women, including Anita Borg/Grace Hopper, SHPE and NSBE, as well as many others.

Implementing — and then expanding — the diverse slate approach has also had a positive effect. This ensures that recruiters present qualified candidates from underrepresented groups to hiring managers looking to fill open roles. As a result, it makes all of us accountable for identifying more diverse candidates during the interview process. We’ve seen steady increases in hiring rates for underrepresented people since we started testing this approach in 2015.

We’ve worked hard at retention as well by creating an inclusive environment where people from all backgrounds can thrive and succeed. This includes our many Facebook Resource Groups, which help build community and support professional development — as well as the investments we have made to tackle bias and create an inclusive culture. Programs like Managing Bias, Managing Inclusion and Be the Ally have been very well received internally.

What We Can Do Better

We’ve learned through trial and error that if we’re going to hire more people from a broader range of backgrounds, it’s not enough to simply show up at colleges and universities. We need to create practical training opportunities for these students to build on their academic experience. Programs like Crush Your Coding Interview, the Facebook University Training Program and Engineer in Residence at historically Black and Hispanic colleges and universities have all helped us recruit more women and students of color. It’s why we are expanding these programs — and adding new ones. For example, we recently signed a partnership with which will help them reach 2,000 more computer science students at over 20 universities. These include community colleges and universities that have traditionally attracted students of color. Over the next year, we will partner with the UNCF to design courses for their HBCU CS Summer Academy. We will also co-host the HBCU CS Faculty Institute in partnership with UNCF’s Career Pathways Initiative to offer faculty professional development.

Of course, diversity isn’t only about gender, race and ethnicity. We know that the framing and categories used to report gender are not inclusive of our non-binary employees. However, we are limited by government reporting requirements in many of the countries where we operate. We’re pleased to report the percentage of US employees who self-identify as LGBQA+ or Trans+ for the third year in a row. That number has moved from 7% to 8% over the past year. HRC has again recognized us as one of the best places to work for LGBTQ equality with a 100% rating on their Corporate Equality Index. We’re also honored to be awarded a 100% rating on the USBLN Disability Index for 2018 — and proud that veterans now make up 2% of our employees.

Once again, we are happy to share that men and women at Facebook get equal pay for equal work. We review our total compensation data every year — which includes base salary, bonus and equity — and have had 100% pay equity for women for many years, not just in the U.S. but globally.

We’ve done this report since 2014 and have been working consistently to improve diversity at Facebook so that we can make better decisions and build better products for the communities that use our services. A critical lesson we’ve learned is that recruiting, retaining and developing a diverse, inclusive workforce should be a priority from day one. The later you start taking deliberate action to increase diversity, the harder it becomes. We are encouraged by the progress we’ve made in some areas, and grateful for the advice and support we’ve had along the way. But we have so much more still to do across the board. For more information please read our annual diversity report.

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