Like a lot of tech companies in Silicon Valley, Twitter last year published numbers about the different backgrounds and cultures of its employees, and its numbers were revealed to be rather white and very male. Specifically, as of last July, 70 percent of its employees were men, and 72 percent of its managers were white.
Mother Jones called the numbers “embarrassing.” Twitter apparently agrees. According to a newly published post by the company, Twitter is committed to making its U.S. workforce more diverse by the end of 2016.
First, it’s tackling its male-to-female ratio imbalance, saying it plans to increase the number of its female employees to 35 percent (up from 30 percent last year); increase women in tech roles to 16 percent (up from 10 percent); and ensure the percentage of women in leadership roles hits 25 percent (up from 21 percent). No, that’s not 50-50, but remember, we’re talking about the span of a couple of years here.
Twitter is also promising to increase the number of underrepresented minorities that it employs, with the goal of bumping their numbers to 11 percent overall (up from 7 percent last year), to 9 percent in tech roles (up from 3 percent) and to 6 percent in leadership roles (up from 4 percent).
Again, this may elicit groans. We’ll admit we’re not that excited about that 6 percent number in particular. But again, progress takes time.
It’s also worth noting that the U.S. is changing quickly but is still mostly white, according to the latest U.S. government data. Hispanics make up 16 percent of the rest of the population; African-Americans make up 13 percent; Asians represent 6 percent; and other racial and ethnic groups combined make up 2 percent.
It’ll be a very different picture by 2060, according to the latest Census Bureau projections. By then, minorities will account for 57 percent of the U.S. population.
Twitter says it wants the makeup of the company to “reflect the vast range of people who use Twitter.” Toward that end, its immediate diversity goals aren’t just good for public relations; they’re necessary if the company wants to thrive well into the future.