Facebook’s efforts to increase diversity of its workforce have brought some progress during the past year – especially in terms of Black leaders’ representation – however overall its employees remain overwhelmingly white and male.
Facebook saw an increase of women in leadership from 34.2% in 2020 to 35.5% in 2021, but its overall representation of women in its workforce fell from 37% in 2020 to 36.7% in 2021.
Progress in Black leaders’ representation
When it comes to racial/ethnicity representation, Facebook increased the amount of Black people in leadership from 3.4% in 2020 to 4.7% in 2021, which represents a 38.2% increase. Facebook attributes this growth to “strong recruiting, and an increased focus on retaining top talent across the company.”
However, it seems the company still has a way to go – while a 38% increase is important, in real terms, Black leaders still only make up a fraction of Facebook’s global workforce.
The company said it boosted its overall representation of Black people from 3.9% in 2020 to 4.4% this year. That represents the largest year-over-year increase since 2017, when Facebook reported a 3% Black population compared to 2% the year before.
“Over the last year, we’ve seen growth in underrepresented communities at Facebook. Today, more than 21% of our non-technical employees identify as Black or Hispanic. We’re also proud to report that we had our most diverse intern class ever in 2021, with 44.0% women globally and 20.4% from underrepresented minority communities in the US (Black and Latinx). This year, 4.7% of our US-based employees identify as people with disabilities, and 2.4% identify as veterans. Our LGBTQ+ community makes up 10.6% of our US-based workforce,” Facebook wrote on its website.
In just one year, we achieved a 38.2% increase in Black leaders, getting a head start on a five-year goal to increase leaders who are people of color by 30%.
Facebook lost three top women executives this year
Facebook’s diversity report was released just a few days after Facebook chief diversity officer Maxine Williams commented on the departures of three top female leaders who left the company in 2021.
The women are former head of Facebook app Fidji Simo, Facebook global ads chief Carolyn Everson, who announced her departure in June, and former Facebook Vice President of app commerce Deborah Liu.
In an interview with CNBC, Williams downplayed their departures from the social media company, saying it is not such a bad thing because they’re moving into high-ranking leadership roles elsewhere.
You can check out Facebook’s full Diversity and Inclusion report here.