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Like other tech giants, Facebook is very white and very male

Like other tech giants, Facebook is very white and very male

The company has become the latest in a string of major tech players to disclose employee diversity details

Facebook has followed Google and Yahoo in revealing just how diverse its workforce is, and just like the other two tech giants, it's a whole lot white and a whole lot male.

Just over two-thirds of Facebook's global workforce is male, but that number shoots up to 85 percent when just core "tech" employees, largely engineers, are counted. Among senior management, the company counts 77 percent as male.

In the U.S., 57 percent of Facebook's entire workforce is white, 34 percent is Asian, 3 percent is Hispanic and 2 percent is black, with the remainder counting two or more races. Among engineering staff, the percentage of white employees drops to 53 percent, while the number of Asian employees jumps to 41 percent, while among senior management, 74 percent are male and 19 percent Asian.

In the U.S. as a whole, 72 percent of people reported themselves as white in the 2010 census, 16 percent as Hispanic, 13 percent as black and 5 percent as Asian.

"As these numbers show, we have more work to do -- a lot more," wrote Maxine Williams, Facebook's global head of diversity, in a blog post.

Facebook said it would implement "a variety of programs and strategies to help increase the overall pool of talent from underrepresented communities," but it didn't identify what they would be.

Currently, the company has programs with groups such as Girls Who Code, the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers to help bring underrepresented groups into engineering.

  • Comparing Facebook to Yahoo and Google, it's notable how similar the makeups of the respective workforces are. All three companies are dominated by males, who make up about two-thirds of all employees, and in the U.S. all the companies are largely white and Asian, with other minorities making up less than 10 percent in total of all employees.
  • After declining to release such data for several years, the companies have recently come under pressure from community leaders including U.S. civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who confronted Google at its annual shareholder meeting.

"We have a long way to go, but we're absolutely committed to achieving greater diversity at Facebook and across the industry," Williams said.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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