Twitter Announces Diversity Goals for 2016

Twitter logo (Design Trend)

Twitter logo (Design Trend)

Last week, Twitter announced its goals to diversify the company’s employees in 2016. The goals focused on increasing the presence of female and non-white employees. For the women, this includes reaching 35% women overall in the company, with 16% of tech roles going to women and 25% of leadership roles getting filled by women. For minorities, the goals are bringing the number to 11% in the overall company, with 9% of tech roles and 6% of leadership roles. Interestingly, the goals for minorities are marked with a literal asterisk, and apply to within the US only. (I’d like to know the reasoning behind that, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.)

This follows Twitter’s identifying and committing to diversity as a workplace issue. Last year, the company shared its diversity numbers. Spoiler alert (or not): it’s a whole lotta white dudes. While the company overall is about 70% male/30% female, it skews more guy-heavy in the tech section. Ethnically speaking, white and Asian employees comprise the largest portions, at nearly 60% and 30% respectively. Employees who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino or as Black or African-American make up only about 5% of the Twitter workforce.

Even though it looks like Twitter’s taking some big steps forward, Julia Greenberg at “Wired” points out that these steps are actually pretty small:

As it stands now, the company already has 34 percent women on its staff, with 13 percent in tech roles and 22 percent in leadership roles—not too far off from its goals. With 4,100 employees worldwide currently, the difference would be adding at least 41 women to reach its overall gender goal (though it would depend on the company’s growth).

Twitter is just the latest in a line of tech companies who’ve released their not-so-diverse data (following Facebook and Google, among others). It’ll be interesting to see how these goals will change due to supply and demand over time.

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