A sizeable number of Facebook users are Black, but many of its employees are not Black. In fact, a staggeringly low number of the social media giant’s workers are Black and Latinx women, according to the company’s latest diversity report released July 12.
There are only six Black women who are senior managers and executives. Less than one percent of those 769 positions belong to Black women, who fare worse than their Latinx counterparts at 1.3 percent. The data is alarming, to say the least.
“We are definitely concerned,” Maxine Williams, Facebook’s chief diversity officer who is Black, told USA TODAY.
Facebook is 3.5 percent Black, compared to just 2 percent in 2014, in the U.S. White people are, unsurprisingly, still the single largest population of employees at 46.4 percent, as opposed to 57 percent in 2014. Also, Black employees only make up one percent of employees in technical roles.
African-American employees only grew from 2 to 4 percent in the last five years, according to the report.
The company is moving slowly toward progress — especially as technology companies have been challenged to reverse decades of discouraging and discriminatory hiring practices. But what’s the good news here?
Black employees increased their presence from 2 to 8 percent in business and sales. In addition, there were higher gains for Latinx employees, who went going from 6 to 8 percent in those areas.
There is still more work to do at Facebook, which is a big piece of the Silicon Valley pie. Perhaps the work will finally get done if Facebook forms major partnerships with Google — also struggling with diversity, though faring better than Facebook — as well as if it works with Black politicians and activists.