People are Slamming Facebook for Blaming Its Diversity Problem on a Lack of Talent

People are Slamming Facebook for Blaming Its Diversity Problem on a Lack of Talent
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This story originally appeared on Business Insider

The tech world is slamming Facebook for blaming its poor workforce diversity stats on a lack of available talent.

The backlash comes after the social media giant revealed on Thursday that it still mainly employs white men. Its diversity chief, Maxine Williams, attributed part of the issue to a pipeline problem:

"It has become clear that at the most fundamental level, appropriate representation in technology or any other industry will depend upon more people having the opportunity to gain necessary skills through the public education system," she wrote, noting that few U.S. high schools teach computer science and that women and minorities taking those classes are even fewer.

But that statement misses the point.

There are more black and Hispanic students with engineering degrees from top universities than there are tech jobs, according to a USA Today study from late 2014. The problem isn't that there needs to be more people, Joelle Emerson, the CEO of a diversity consultancy, tells The Wall Street Journal. Facebook just needs to try harder to recruit and hire them.

"Many, like me, are very disappointed with Facebook's lack of research and effort on the issue of recruiting underrepresented talent," Kaya Thomas, a black woman studying computer science at Dartmouth College, told Business Insider via email.

Thomas, who is also a fellow at Code2040, which supports black and Latino people in tech, wrote a moving Medium piece about her reaction to Williams' statement:

"I wish that tech leaders would just be honest and admit that they've made tech culture so exclusive and toxic," she writes. "Ignoring the fact that underrepresented talent exists shows me that they don't care about diversity and they don't want us working in tech."

Facebook is far from the only tech company that has dismal diversity stats -- they show up pretty much across the board in the tech industry. 

Thomas hasn't heard from Facebook regarding her blog post but has been amazed by the response so far from other people in the industry.

The hashtag #FBNoExcuses has been gaining steam on Twitter, with people pointing out that unconscious bias, recruitment habits and "culture fit" are more of a hindrance to diversity than a lack of talent.







In another thread, a former Facebook hiring manager highlights what she saw as some of Facebook's issues:





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