Tag Archives: Native American

Facebook and Intel Report Diversity Improvement

Maxine Williams, Facebook’s Executive Diversity Chief

Facebook’s surprising diversity report showed marked improvement in hiring of women and minorities. While the report shows that Facebook is still overwhelmingly white and male the improvements show that Maxine Williams, Facebook’s Executive Diversity Chief, is having an effect on the company.   Facebook’s report revealed 35 percent of its staff  are women, up from 33 percent a year ago. The number of number of women in leadership positions is up a percent to 28 percent.

Even with these improvements retention of female employees in the tech sector is a another challenge. Women are leaving the industry after hire in the face or sexism and other bias. So these numbers for Facebook can only be considered an improvement if women stay on with the company.

The report shows an increase of Hispanic employees of 4 to 5 percent and African-Americans by 2 to 3 percent. However the guys at the top are still white men making up 71 percent of the company leadership. No change there.  The rest of the company leadership is held by Asians at 21 percent with other groups holding only 2 to 3 percent.

How is Williams making change happen? Along side the diversity report Williams blogged about initiatives she believes are improving Facebook’s hiring and workplace culture. She pointed out the  “Diverse Slate Approach,” which encourages consideration of applicants who don’t look like the hiring managers.  According to Williams Facebook has discovered that “the more people you interview who don’t look or think like you, the more likely you are to hire someone from a diverse background.”  Facebook’s “Managing Inclusion,” training program teaches managers to consider what issues affect under-represented groups.  Facebook believes that this training helps to build an understanding of how these employees or applicants arrived in tech the industry and what obstacles remain.

Williams believes Facebook is moving in the right direction but said, “We aren’t where we’d like to be.”

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich

Another major tech company is also touting its diversity improvements.  Intel has reported that its diversity program is actually two years ahead of schedule.  In a recent blog post Intel CEO Brian Krzanich claims Intel is two years ahead of its original diversity plan. “We set out to achieve by 2020 an inclusive workforce that reflects the diversity we see every day in the world around us,” he wrote. “Doing this would bring the number of female, Hispanic, African-American and Native American employees in Intel’s 50,000-strong U.S. workforce to full representation.” According to Krzanich the goal is now moved up to 2018.

Krzanich, in a stand against racism, resigned from President Trump’s American Manufacturing Council after comments the president made about the events in Charlottesville that one left one woman dead. According to Krzanich he wants to “…call attention to the serious harm our divided political climate is causing to critical issues…”

Intel’s mid-year report shows the company’s five-year plan is on track to bring full representation of  women, African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans in both technical and non-technical jobs. According to Intel full representation is defined as the “full market availability of women and underrepresented minorities.”

“In December of 2014, our gap to full representation was 2,300 employees. Today that gap has narrowed to 801 people, a 65 percent improvement, said Krzanich.

But like Facebook and other tech companies white and Asian men still represent  almost all top management positions. More than 90 percent of Intel’s mid to senior-level technical roles are white and Asian men.  Intel is also dealing with a retention problem with women and minorities. The company says it has added “diversity playbooks” and other programs to help managers hire and retain under-represented groups.

Although diversity in the tech sector is a real issue, and progress is epically slow, there is progress. According to workplace culture and company review platform Comparably  companies are doing better.

Comparably has come out with a list of the top ten companies that are doing better than most in the area of workplace diversity. The scores of these companies are on a 0-100 scale and based how female employees rate their experience at the company. The diversity score is based on how employees of color rate their experience at a company. Here is Comparably’s list for women.

For diversity




Apple Shareholders Strike Down Diversity Proposal

Diversity in Silicon Valley suffered a serious blow Wednesday when Apple shareholders rejected a diversity proposal aimed at the company’s leadership. For the second year in a row Apple shareholders rejected a proposal requiring the company to improve the diversity of its top leadership. Over 95 percent of the shareholders voted to oppose the measure. Slightly more than last year.

Shareholder Tony Maldonado with support from Zevin Asset Management, a company that specializes in socially responsible investing, submitted the proposal asking Apple to “adopt an accelerated recruitment policy … to increase the diversity of senior management and its board of directors.” Maldonado and Zevin’s argument was that Apple’s were moving too slowly when it came to initiating Apple’s own diversity initiatives.

Maldonado did not expect the initiative to pass. But he needed at least 6 percent of the vote in order to re-introduce the measure next year. Be he failed to get that percentage killing the proposal for the next three years. Apple’s leadership contributed to killing the proposal by urging shareholders to reject the proposal. Apple’s executives are 82 percent white, and its senior leadership is almost entirely white.

Apple’s board, in a filing with the SEC, wrote a note lobbying  shareholders to vote against the proposal. The company clams it’s diversity program is  “much broader” and that its diversity efforts in the past three years, has made “steady progress in attracting more women and underrepresented minorities.” Apple believes the proposal “is not necessary or appropriate because we have already demonstrated our commitment to a holistic view of inclusion and diversity.” Apple’s diverity efforts are considered to be the most successful in the tech sector. 

Apple reported last year that women comprised 37% percent of new hires (versus 32% of current employees.) Apple includes “Black, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander” in the underrepresented group and counts new hires within the last 12 months as of June.

Maldonado told The Verge that Apple’s CEO “Tim Cook was very defensive, and he presented the two black people on their leadership, but not senior leadership, as a sign of their diversity. Personally, I took it as an insult. They were put on the spotlight as ‘here’s tokenism,’ and he didn’t seem to accept that.”

However a report from Mashable points out an untold fact about diversity at the senior level of Apple leadership. The hiring process inside Apple requires some seniority. To reach the senior executive level at Apple you likely have been with the company for some time, decades. Through Apple’s ups and downs and the dawn of the Internet diversity was not the huge concern it is today.  As a result those who have hung in there at Apple are more likely than not, white males. Some of Apple’s senior leadership have been with the company since 1987. It should be noted that Apple’s Vice President of World Wide Human Resources, Denise Young Smith, is a black woman and James A. Bell, a black man ,sits on the board of directors.

Speaking to The Verge Maldonado said, “Apple basically duped the investors, to be quite honest. They conned ’em to say, ‘Look, we’re on top of it. Don’t worry about it. Everything’s fine.’ However, I believe that shareholders don’t have all information as to the background of the issue.”

Apple has not addressed the vote but in its original statement on Maldonado’s proposal, the company believes its existing diversity efforts were sufficient. “Our ongoing efforts to increase diversity are much broader than the ‘accelerated recruitment policy’ requested by this proposal.” The company added  that it takes “a holistic view of inclusion and diversity” that extends to even app developers and suppliers.

Maldonado stressed there’s more he could have done to educate other shareholders. “For some strange reason, I would say that shareholders have the belief that by accepting this proposal, the company would be forced to establish reverse discrimination policies. We just have to probably expand on the campaign on educating all shareholders, including institution shareholders, that this is more beneficial and at the end of the long run it will help us to improve our bottom line.”