Facebook’s Global Director of Diversity, Maxine Williams, released a statement last week stating the measures Facebook expects to implement to increase diversity within their team. Facebook pledged $15 million to Code.org and took TechPrep resource hub to communities of colour across the country.
Code.org is a non-profit organisation dedicated to expanding access to computer science, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of colour. Tech Prep aims to help individuals explore programming, giving them the tools needed for jobs available for programmers and the skills required to become one.
Williams says Facebook is committed to giving people the power to share, keeping them more open and connected. She expressed her frustration with Facebook’s lack of diverse representation in the office. She says, “Over the past few years we have been working hard to increase diversity at Facebook through a variety of internal and external programmes and partnerships. We still have a long way to go, but as we continue to strive for greater change, we are encouraged by positive hiring trends.”
The current representation in senior leadership at Facebook is 3% Black 3% Hispanic, and 27% women. While the numbers are slowly increasing, Williams recognised the need to create programmes that give individuals the tools they need to enter the workforce, notably programming roles. She says, “currently only 1 in 4 US high schools teach computer science. In 2015, seven states had fewer than 10 girls take the Advanced Placement Computer Science exam and no girls took the exam in three states.”
Programmes like Code.org and Tech prep are expected to bolster the number of minorities entering the tech world.
Williams says, “We want every person in this country to have the opportunity to learn the skills that our industry -- and we want the chance to hire them.”