How Facebook Is Leading the Way Through Diversity

Chris Lange

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is leading the way for social media companies, and it wants to be a leader in diversity as well. The social media giant recently announced that it will be making an effort over the next five years to double the number of female employees globally, and to double the number of black and Hispanic employees in the United States.

Facebook also wants half of its U.S. workforce to be from underrepresented groups by 2024. About 43% of Facebook’s U.S. workers are currently from underrepresented groups, and a push to 50% could be seen as a “stretch” or “ambitious,” says management.

The social media giant reported that 36.9% of its global employees is female, up from 36.3% a year ago. Black and Hispanic people now account for 9.0% of staff in the United States. A year ago, that number was 8.4%. The company had almost 38,000 workers at the end of March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Ultimately, Facebook is proposing a change from the status quo. These numbers underscore how big technology companies have struggled to diversify their workforces. This is especially true in technical jobs dominated by white and Asian men.

Maxine Williams, Facebook’s chief diversity officer, commented:

We envision a company where in five years, at least fifty-percent of our workforce is made up of women, people who are Black, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islanders, people with two or more ethnicities, people with disabilities and veterans.

Shares of Facebook traded up 0.8% to $200.93 early Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $123.02 to $218.62. The consensus price target is $222.75.