Facebook's 'points for diversity' scheme is failing

by Lucy Hook18 Aug 2016

A recruitment incentive for 'diversity hires' has failed to improve the number of minority employees at Facebook — which has almost 15,000 workers — with its workforce remaining largely white and male.

A points-based system that awards Facebook recruiters double points for a 'diversity hire' — a black, Hispanic or female engineer— compared to the hire of a white or asian male, has not resulted in a higher rate of minority workers, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Last month, the company reported that the number of black and Hispanic employees had remained flat from the two previous years — just 2% of its U.S. employees are black, and 4% are Hispanic.

The number of women employees in its global workforce had risen by just 2%, from 31% in 2014, to 33%.

In leadership roles however, Facebook made its biggeststrides in gender diversity.

The percentage of women among senior leadership increased to 27%, from 23% a year ago.

The points-system aims to give recruiters an incentive to make minority hires by using the points to award bonuses and as part of performance reviews.

The social networking giant, which has over 1.7bn monthly users, came under fire from its peers in Silicon Valley last month after it blamed its poor diversity on a lack of talent in the 'pipeline'.

Facebook's head of diversity, Maxine Williams, said in a statement 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.”

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