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Facebook released its most recent diversity report last week and it shows very little signs of improvement – something the company blames on the US public education system and the “pipeline problem,” meaning there aren't enough qualified women and minorities available to fill tech positions.
The total number of women employed by Facebook increased just one percent to 33 percent, while the number of black and Hispanic US employees remained the same at 2 percent and 4 percent, respectively.
Facebook's Global Director of Diversity, Maxine Williams, said: "It has become clear that at the most fundamental level, 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," she said in a statement.
The lack of diversity is most apparent when it comes to Facebook’s tech-based jobs, which consists of 48 percent white and 46 percent Asian employees. Black workers make up just 1 percent of this sector, with Hispanic employees accounting for 3 percent.
Senior leadership is one area totally dominated by white males; across the US, 71 percent of Facebook’s leaders are white, and men make up 73 percent of senior positions worldwide.
Not everyone agrees with Facebook’s “lack of talent” argument; civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said: “There is no talent deficit but an opportunity deficit. There is a pipeline of qualified board members. There is a pipeline of C-suite leaders. There are more black computer science students than are being hired.”
Despite the figures, the social network continues to implement new ways of diversifying its workforce. Several of the company’s teams require that at least one minority candidate must be interviewed for each open position, and it also offers an internship program for women and minority students. Moreover, Facebook plans to donate $15 million to Code.org, which seeks to increase access to coding/computer science classes for women and minorities, over the next five years.