×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Tech Workforce Diversity At Facebook Similar To Google And Yahoo

Unknown Lamer posted about 4 months ago | from the but-how-many-are-brogrammers? dept.

Facebook 265

theodp (442580) writes Facebook is mostly white dudes, writes Valleywag's Sam Biddle, cutting to the chase of Facebook's inaugural disclosure of diversity figures. "We're serious about building a workplace that reflects a broad range of experience, thought, geography, age, background, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture and many other characteristics," said Facebook, which has a tech workforce that's 15% female and only 1% Black. By contrast, Wikipedia's Baseball Color Line article notes that "by the late 1950s, the percentage of blacks on Major League teams matched or exceeded that of the general population." So, is it surprising that the company whose stated mission is "to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected" is having problems connecting with the general population in 2014?

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

SO (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324335)

Who cares? This isn't a national tragedy.

Re:SO (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324947)

....said no one who wasn't white, male, and middle-class.

Re:SO (1)

itzly (3699663) | about 4 months ago | (#47325011)

If someone was discriminated against unjustly, it's still not a national tragedy. However, the individual could take the company to court.

This means nothing without context (5, Insightful)

FictionPimp (712802) | about 4 months ago | (#47324369)

What is the percentage of black, women, etc people with the skills and training that google, facebook, etc is looking for?

Are there out of work fully qualified programmers that can't work at facebook because they are black? Maybe the ratio is the way it is simply because there are not enough minorities looking for high end development work (Unlike baseball). That doesn't make it Facebook's fault if it is truly hiring the most qualified workers.

Re:This means nothing without context (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324395)

that's the most racist comment I've ever seen

Re:This means nothing without context (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324467)

He also mentions women. That's sexist.

Re:This means nothing without context (3, Interesting)

neminem (561346) | about 4 months ago | (#47324475)

I'm pretty sure that is factually incorrect, unless you literally have never been to Slashdot, or any other site that allows comments, ever.

It's also completely accurate. It is certainly not completely impossible that there are occasionally racists (or more likely, people who have slight biases and don't even realize it) in hiring departments for major companies. It is, however, much more likely that this issue is more cultural and/or class-based: one, minorities are more likely to be poorer by virtue of having been marginalized in the past, and poor people are less likely to have had the opportunities required to get into the tech field. Two, cultures push different things, and minorities who stick together form cultures. That is not racist, that's, well, obvious. Not all skin-color-based minorities stick together, obviously, but enough do (which is also partially class-based, as you don't really have a choice to have been born in a crap environment, and it's harder to get yourself out of one.)

As for women, there's a lot more evidence that HR departments do discriminate, and some more obvious reasons why they might want to (which are still BS and should be burned mercilessly, but which still make sense why they happen). Still, it is *also* almost certainly true that more men than women have the inclination and ability (more the former than the latter) required to get hired at tech companies, and that's not really the fault of those companies.

Re:This means nothing without context (3, Insightful)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about 4 months ago | (#47325083)

As for women, there's a lot more evidence that HR departments do discriminate

Which is ironic given that almost 60% of HR staff are women [aol.com] , apparently. Maybe HR companies should start hiring more men to bring a male perspective and lived experience to these roles?

Re:This means nothing without context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324481)

You're the type who sees racist everywhere, aren't you.
There's nothing racist in his comment, if there's no minorities or women looking for a high tech job with the proper qualification, it's not the fault of google/facebook and others.

Re:This means nothing without context (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 months ago | (#47324599)

You're the type who sees racist everywhere, aren't you.

You're the type that misses painfully obvious sarcasm, aren't you?

Re:This means nothing without context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324485)

Only if you choose to read it that way. It's a simple truth: if there aren't minorities looking for work that meet Facebook's needs, then Facebook can't hire more minority workers without compromising its standards, which it should not have to do -- so long as "must be white" isn't one of those standards. If there aren't documented cases where a company has passed on a qualified minority worker without apparent cause, then the problem is elsewhere in society: school, culture, economy, etc.

Re:This means nothing without context (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324569)

Ok, so let's ask the question in a different way:

What percentage of college technical graduates are black, female or black and female?

What percentage of applicants for technical courses are black, female or black and female?

It certainly feels like there is a problem here, but maybe it is not in the HR departments of Google, Facebook et al. Maybe it is the college system, or the high school system that is at fault. This is simply one data point that does not tell the whole story.

Re:This means nothing without context (4, Insightful)

Lab Rat Jason (2495638) | about 4 months ago | (#47324603)

I don't think I'd go so far as to call the GP racist, and I can see the point GP is trying to make. I live in an area that is predominately white... and by predominately white... I mean like 99.9% or something like that. During a brief time I was entrusted to do the hiring interviews for my department. I only interviewed one black person and one woman. I ended up hiring them both because they both seemed to have the skills we needed. The guy I hired ended up not really being able to handle the work, and was let go. The woman I hired ended up leaving for a more challenging (and presumably better paying) company. From the outside you could say that the company was racist because we didn't have any black developers, or that we didn't have any women developers... but the truth is much more complex: Our sample size for non-white non-male programmers is too small to be statistically significant, and within the sample size we had one under-qualified, and one over-qualified. We actually hired both, and both left the company for perfectly normal reasons, bringing the development staff back to an all-male all-white mix.(not a mix really)

So when the GP asks about the ratio of available talent, I get the sentiment... although with a company the size of FB or Google and with a local diversity like Kalifornia's, you'd think the statistical significance of those numbers would mean more, which is why people are a bit outraged about it.

Re:This means nothing without context (4, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 months ago | (#47324643)

Not really.

I live in a black suburb (it's cheap) with poor people, 3 blocks down from a Jewish white suburb. The black suburb is full of trash, broken down cars, town homes with no yards, rental properties, liquor stores, and copious gang and firearms violence--all the amenities of a poor, black ghetto. The white suburb is made up of large single-family homes, huge yards, separated residential and commercial zones, and clean, well-maintained roads--because the city sends more road work out there so the people they collect the most taxes from don't leave.

There's also a poor white ghetto out east. Muscle cars, double-wide trailers, booze, slutty girls, drugs, and people occasionally get hit with a pipe wrench. These white folk aren't like those white folk, or like those black folk.

People identify culturally by geographic area, by surrounding interests, and by race and smaller cliques (IT people, security people, bouncers, car people, martial artists, etc.). Putting any critical mass of people together will develop a unique culture. We have plenty of black doctors and lawyers, probably as a result of racial tension: black people get out of slavery, they either become angry, miserable, violent sub-humans or they become philosophers who want to work for the greater good. Time goes on, and black people get rights, but they still get treated like shit. The racial tensions still exist today, and it creates the same forces: they either become angry, miserable, violent sub-humans or they become philosophers who want to do something in the world.

White people, by contrast, are largely just coasting. Racial tensions to us are mostly in the form of black people getting angry at us for saying something stupid. Nobody has told us white folk that the black man is keeping us down. We aren't living under the world's first black president. No white man in history has ever given a speech about how, one day, his children might be allowed to go to school and learn to read and write like all them black children. There is a lot less pessimism, and we just find it natural that everything we want should be at our fingertips.

Trying to cross that barrier is easy for a white man, but a black man has to get over all this shit that basically makes him feel like the world's holding him back. The ones that can push by that naturally have more energy--more optimism--and reach for higher goals. Lots of white folk can't imagine being a doctor or a lawyer or a physicist, but can imagine being a computer programmer or some other mundane job that sounds meaningful but also doesn't sound too hard.

It's just culture. Humans recognize patterns; the most disruptive effect of this is recognizing patterns in human appearance. If we were all white, we would start recognizing round-faced humans separately from square-jawed humans.

Re:This means nothing without context (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324699)

that's the most racist comment I've ever seen

THAT'S the most racist comment I've ever seen.

Re:This means nothing without context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324735)

Oh bullshit.

Pointing out the obvious, that minorities are not well-represented in the academic circles from which Google/Facebook et al hire from is NOT racist. It's recognizing reality.

If you're running a competitive company, you hire the best workers in order to maintain your competitive edge. By "best", I mean those with the necessary qualifications... and since minorities are underrepresented in these fields, that by definition means that you're going to end up with a bunch of white guys as coders.

The companies aren't actively discriminating - they're playing the hands they're dealt. If you want to improve the % of minorities working in tech, you have to get them trained first. Focus on getting people trained & qualified to work at Google/Facebook/HyperMegaDyne Inc, and they'll actually end up there.

Re:This means nothing without context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324765)

A+++++++!!+!+! Would laugh at lengthy responses again. Well trolled.

Re:This means nothing without context (1)

Yebyen (59663) | about 4 months ago | (#47324863)

OK, I wasn't going to say it but now I'm going to say it. Black people are good at sports. Better than me. By the numbers, anyway.

Re:This means nothing without context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47325063)

They're also better equipped for bed sports.

Re:This means nothing without context (2, Interesting)

HappyPsycho (1724746) | about 4 months ago | (#47325143)

Remembering (early 2000s) my comp sci classes (and to a lesser degree higher math) I was pretty heavily outnumbered (compared to my classmates back then I'm black), the few girls in class had it even worse. As soon as I went to one of my electives (even something science like Bio or Chem) the makeup changed, e.g. enter the arts department and I was once again outnumbered but then again so were the white dudes (mostly women with a decent mix but still dominated by white chicks).

While I have no issues with diversity (I stand to benefit), I fail to see how facebook and family can do much about this other than they are currently doing (the various competions or http://tech.slashdot.org/story... [slashdot.org] ). They could just hire the applicable minorities and have them stand around just to make up numbers, but I don't think that helps anyone.

I guess in their defense these companies should post the matching numbers of the diversity of the applicants, problem is that is near impossible due to not everyone gets called in for an interview and it would most definitely get called racist to require your resume to include your skin color (sex can probably be guessed with a high degree of accuracy).

The can of worms... (2, Interesting)

ZeroPly (881915) | about 4 months ago | (#47324451)

... congratulations on opening it without any further ado...

Is it really skills and training? Or is it something more innate like IQ or visualization ability, especially for the technical jobs? Do we really want to find out?

Re:The can of worms... (1)

rlwhite (219604) | about 4 months ago | (#47324615)

The females and minorities I've worked with have had equal ability. It seems that there's just far more white men in the US that are inclined to be software developers than there are females and minorities who are inclined to do so. Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and many others are merely reflecting the demographics of the broader industry.

Sure, you can emphasize females in computer science education as Google is doing, and you'll likely see some improvement in the numbers, but we'll probably never see a 50/50 split because these inclinations are part nature as well as part nurture.

Re:The can of worms... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324857)

The females and minorities I've worked with have had equal ability.

Thus the reason you were working with them and not some other female or minority. Your point does not address his question.

Re:The can of worms... (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 4 months ago | (#47325065)

The females and minorities I've worked with have had equal ability. It seems that there's just far more white men in the US that are inclined to be software developers than there are females and minorities who are inclined to do so. Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and many others are merely reflecting the demographics of the broader industry.

I think it's just demographics of who goes into CS and engineering, though slightly skewed because I could swear a majority of students in STEM tracks were Asian, not white. Though all those companies generally have a fairly big showing of Asians (roughly 33%), it does seem a bit on low side given they can easily make up 60-80% of a graduating class.

Though, the percentage of female Asian students in STEM was also fairly high - perhaps 10% of that population.

Re:This means nothing without context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324579)

This means nothing

Well done - your strawman has been modded to +5 and played right into the hands of prejudice.

Maybe precisely what it means is that it is harder for BME and female workers to get into the trade, and perhaps the culture fostered by Google/Yahoo/Facebook contributes toward this.

I'm a Spanish woman (not "Hispanic" in the usual sense, in that I'm actually an immigrant from Spain) and I've not found technical problems getting work, but I really don't jive with the values of these big companies. In particular, the whole "might makes right" thing, whereby companies such as Facebook and Google work entirely against respect for the privacy of the individual, perhaps has a macho flavo(u)r?

Re:This means nothing without context (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 months ago | (#47324619)

but I really don't jive with the values of these big companies. In particular, the whole "might makes right" thing, whereby companies such as Facebook and Google work entirely against respect for the privacy of the individual, perhaps has a macho flavo(u)r?

Sounds like you'd be better suited to working in academia, health care, or some other non-profit social environment. The onus isn't on Google and Facebook to change their culture to jive with your personal moral structure.

Re:This means nothing without context (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324717)

Coming from a country which enjoyed 25 healthy years of post-fascist social democracy before the neoliberals hoodwinked the population (i.e. they offered something other than what they actually delivered), I'd say that it is perfectly possible to create a society where the people have expectations of business ethics. However, you're right that I chose to move to the US where the people probably have a more open understanding of the more pro-capital social contract they've formed.

Re:This means nothing without context (1)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 months ago | (#47324731)

There's plenty of industries in the United States that would jive with your sense of business ethics. There's no reason to try and shove a square peg into a round hole when there's plenty of square holes looking for pegs.

Re:This means nothing without context (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47325019)

Hey, to me, "Hispanic" in the usual sense means "pertaining to or coming from the former Roman province of Hispania", you insensitive clodette!

Re:This means nothing without context (5, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | about 4 months ago | (#47324583)

I went to a local Google office yesterday to watch the IO keynote.

Number of people in the room? 40

Number of women in the room? 2, 1 was from corporate.

Free to sign up, free to attend, so where were the ladies? I think this is just another made up issue people are looking to find a solution for.

Re:This means nothing without context (0)

fermion (181285) | about 4 months ago | (#47324595)

The skills argument is the traditional method used to segregate the workplace, college, whatever. When the pentagon said that women had to be allowed in combat, one thing that was stressed is they had to pass the tests. There was no admission that the tests were somewhat arbitrary, developed not on some absolute basis, but on a subjective set of requirements. It is like the old SAT. If the inner city kids were getting a question correct more than the northern prep school kids, then it probably was not a valid question, because who has the better education?

Really, what this boils down to is if diversity is, in itself, a benefit. Because of the way I was raised and educated, in a very diverse schools where actual skills, talent, and discipline were the primary method of selection, I think that diversity is a benefit. I understand that others do not. I understand that a private firm should be able to select the best workforce for it's situation, diverse or not.

But I also understand that for a long time, and sometimes even today, the white male is considered the bast choice if available. It is assumed that he will command respect, be at work everyday, and not get emotional or get in a fit because of 'oppression'. It could that this is best way to proceed. Or it could be that firms, if they had a employees with wider points of view, different experiences, they might be more successful.

One thing we have seen specifically with major firms like Google and MS is they tend to recruit from very specific schools. This is more a problem for me because this will invariable create an echo chamber and lead to problems we have seen at these firms in which consumer perception is often not considered because a distinct lack of diversity.

Re:This means nothing without context (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324985)

Are there out of work fully qualified programmers that can't work at facebook because they are black?

No, but if the Equality Of Results crowd had their way, there would be fully qualified programmers who could not work at facebook because they are white.

Remember, racism is bad, regardless of who it is targeting, and regardless of why they are being targeted.

Re:This means nothing without context (2)

unimacs (597299) | about 4 months ago | (#47325041)

Part of the problem happens well before Facebook or anyone else has a job opening. Not everyone has equal access to the education required for many of these positions.

Another part of the problem is the hiring process itself. An initial requirement for one position I've taken in the past was a Masters degree in computer science or related field. Nothing about the job required a Masters degree and they got no applicants. The reason for the requirement? The hiring managers all had MBAs. There is a tendency for people to hire people like themselves, - people who fit their stereotype.

I've also witnessed more direct discrimination. At a former company we were trying to fill several tech positions. Several of us were going through resumes when I discovered that my boss had tossed out a few of the candidates I had thought had potential. When asked why she said that their names weren't "American sounding" and she just wanted to hire Americans. She was at least honest about it. Many aren't or don't ever realize why they're excluding people.

Re:This means nothing without context (4, Informative)

pla (258480) | about 4 months ago | (#47325043)

What is the percentage of black, women, etc people with the skills and training that google, facebook, etc is looking for?

Black [cra.org] : Blacks make up only 3.6% of CS graduates, 6% of CE graduates, and 7% of generic IT graduates at the moment.
Female [wikipedia.org] : Female CS/CE graduates peaked in the '80s at 37%, and has fallen ever since to a current low of only 12%; the previous link also shows them at about 50% higher rates in generic IT, or 17% total.

Sorry if that doesn't give your axes a nice fine edge, folks, but the likes of Google, Yahoo, and Facebook don't hire only misogynist racists for their HR departments - In fact, all three soundly beat the above graduation rates, making them arguably biased against hiring white males.

No Story Here (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324383)

No one besides those looking for racial inequality cares. The industry that they draw applicants from isn't a perfectly balanced mix either. This isn't even news.

We all know... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324397)

That the color of your skin matters more than your abilities! Yay for ending racism!

Re:We all know... (2)

AnOnyxMouseCoward (3693517) | about 4 months ago | (#47325121)

Yea, damn the NBA for having so more black people than the US population average. This is discrimination against the whites, and has nothing to do with abilities.

Angry Woman Here. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324403)

I applied for a job at Google but they didn't hire me. They are LYING!!!!

wtf does baseball have to do with anything? (0, Insightful)

Wain13001 (1119071) | about 4 months ago | (#47324423)

wtf are you even talking about? No, it's not surprising that not many black USians work for facebook. Seeing as how not that many Black USians work for tech companies of any sort. Wouldn't you think the latter has a lot more to do with facebook's potential diversity, or lack thereof? Wanting to be diverse doesn't mean refusing to hire white men if that's the majority of the available pool of applicants (not even getting into who's better qualified).

Re:wtf does baseball have to do with anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324607)

I think the parent is implying that since baseball is over represented by minorities- that baseball must be racist too.

Re:wtf does baseball have to do with anything? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324727)

What the fuck is a USian? I hate you

Re:wtf does baseball have to do with anything? (2, Interesting)

NoImNotNineVolt (832851) | about 4 months ago | (#47324963)

As much as I hate "USian", what's the preferred alternative? American? America isn't a country, it's a pair of continents. Argentinians are no less American than New Yorkers are. "Citizens/residents of the United States of America" is too wordy. So it's down to "USian", which is retarded, or "American", which is ridiculously arrogant. When it comes down to it, I'll take retardation over arrogance.

Re:wtf does baseball have to do with anything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47325203)

http://memecrazy.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/comics-captain-america-sephko-722159.jpeg

The problem with all of these stories (5, Insightful)

d0rp (888607) | about 4 months ago | (#47324427)

The "general population", and the "population of qualified tech workers" are two very different things...

Re:The problem with all of these stories (1)

kick6 (1081615) | about 4 months ago | (#47324613)

The "general population", and the "population of qualified tech workers" are two very different things...

If only the post made that comparison, but no...the comparison is to 1950s professional baseball players. I have neither enough faces or palms for this one.

Re:The problem with all of these stories (1)

gregor-e (136142) | about 4 months ago | (#47324737)

Finding enough talent is getting nearly impossible now. As an employee of an up-and-coming Silicon Valley startup, let me assure you - the form factor of the meat package of a prospective developer has zero influence on our decision to hire.

See: Morgan Freeman (4, Insightful)

xdor (1218206) | about 4 months ago | (#47324433)

Stop talking about this crap.

Re:See: Morgan Freeman (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324505)

No shit! Wish I had mod points for you.

Re:See: Morgan Freeman (3, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | about 4 months ago | (#47324565)

"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." -Chief Justice John Roberts, Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1

Diversity is not a virtue (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324441)

Why force diversity? There is nothing worthwhile in diversity in and of itself, despite the dogma of 40+ years of social engineering.

I had to laugh at Google's I/O presentations yesterday; they were obviously finding every single non-white, non-male person, sexually ambiguous person they could find for the presentations. Don't get me wrong: None of the talks were bad; everyone was competent. But it was obvious that Google was going out of its way to seem inclusive. It just comes off as needy and foolish. "See, we're INCLUSIVE!". /notes from a white patriarch

Re:Diversity is not a virtue (2)

lucm (889690) | about 4 months ago | (#47324495)

They probably hired communication specialists from the LAPD.

Re:Diversity is not a virtue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324649)

There is nothing worthwhile in diversity in and of itself

This is the attitude that needs to stop. Diversity may not be a value in your pantheon, but it's not social engineering to want an inclusive society. It's wisdom.

Re:Diversity is not a virtue (5, Interesting)

bmajik (96670) | about 4 months ago | (#47324785)

There is nothing worthwhile in diversity in and of itself

This is the attitude that needs to stop. Diversity may not be a value in your pantheon, but it's not social engineering to want an inclusive society. It's wisdom.

Why does it need to stop?

A huge problem -- that few people seem to speak about -- is that using gender, nationality, or, most frustratingly -- race, as a measure of "diversity" is implicitly bigoted.

The diversity that people _claim_ to want is one of perspectives, life experiences, etc.

The things that are relatively easy to bucketize - gender identity, race, socio-economic status, etc.... these things in and of themselves are not a valuable source of "diversity"

The implicit bigotry in the "diversity" argument says that, if you hire more black people, you'll get much different ideas than what you already have. Why? Because all black people are different from the white people you already have.

I've never seen a more stark illustration of _racism_ then that.

The conjecture here is that if a population distribution doesn't' look the way certain people expect it to, then there is some upstream social problem that needs tinkering with.

That conjecture is only ever true or false on a case by case basis. The real problem that needs to stop is for people to believe this conjecture in the general case; the real problem is that people don't even agree or are not willing to state what their expectations are for the "ideal" population distribution, but, are still willing to cry foul and to assert that a problem exists.

Re:Diversity is not a virtue (1)

Loopy (41728) | about 4 months ago | (#47325209)

Lucid, cogent and very much what I wanted to say, here. Thanks.

Re:Diversity is not a virtue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324959)

So you want diversity, just not the diversity of my views. Nice tautology you have there.

At least my assertion is provable (the three tech companies mentioned are all quite successful without the kind of diversity you seem to champion). I challenge you to prove your assertion that diversity is wisdom.

Re:Diversity is not a virtue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47325081)

Your attitude needs to stop, too. You're effectively telling me that as a white person, my thoughts and ideas are no more original than that of any other already employed white person.

Re:Diversity is not a virtue (1)

aicrules (819392) | about 4 months ago | (#47324711)

I agree. It's certainly fine for google to see that statistic and do some due diligence to make sure their are not any issues in their hiring managers/process. But the answer is almost certainly in the available pool of people who apply. I'd definitely be interested to see the percentage of people who applied that are white vs black, male vs female. If those percentages are way different than their work force make-up, then maybe there's something more to look at. However you'd then have to investigate a large number of individual examples to see if qualifications and interview results show a valid reason for the difference. All-in-all the likelihood that it involves racist HR/hiring managers at google is extremely unlikely.

Re:Diversity is not a virtue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324761)

None of the talks were bad; everyone was competent

What are you talking about? It was the worst keynote I have ever seen. Talk about boring, dry and useless. Not to mention nothing really of note was said. It was like an army of freak show workers was frog marched across the stage. The only entertaining aspect was trying to guess whether Pat was a man or woman.

discrimination (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324469)

well, one could say that the white population is being discriminated in Major League ?

Companies can't create a diversified talent pool (5, Insightful)

Brannon (221550) | about 4 months ago | (#47324501)

out of thin air. The internal demographics of these large companies reflect the demographics of graduates in the relevant fields. The right answer is to get a more diversified college population in computer engineering and computer science, which requires getting more K-12 interest in those fields amongst underrepresented groups. And that's exactly what the big companies are doing--investing in programs that will build a more diversified pipeline of future employees.

The comparison against MLB is outrageously stupid. African-Americans were already playing baseball in high numbers in separate leagues; MLB just started poaching players from those leagues. Are you claiming that there are some all-female or all-black companies full of millions of computer engineers that Facebook could start hiring from tomorrow?

Re:Companies can't create a diversified talent poo (1)

Shados (741919) | about 4 months ago | (#47324723)

This.

First, you start with the talent pool, which is very low on minorities and females.

Then you cut off the 95% bottom part, as these companies get more applicants than the average tech company, and can be somewhat more picky. You have even fewer (not because women or minorities can't be good, but certain demographics statistically do better at showing off their strengths in the shark pool).

Now of whats left, these companies have a biais to hire ultra monitivated/no work life balance/eat and dream computer science people. That cuts off anyone whom's life doesn't revolve around the field.

And then the coup de grace, they favor younger applicants, and women and minorities usually have kids younger (the gender age gap stereotype of women usually dating older guys doesn't help here...it means usually the woman will be significantly younger when they have kids). So a young man is more likely to not have kid than a woman of the same age, and thus will have more time to dedicate to the career.

All that together means you end up with white males, asians and indians. Its just the correlation between these groups and the criteria the hyper-competitive companies use to hire that cause this.

Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324503)

where's the statistic for how many Indians?

Re:Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324703)

Hindeed.

Re:Where? (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 4 months ago | (#47325117)

That was a nice jab. In fact, it was a veritable pun-jab!

we speak english here (1)

fche (36607) | about 4 months ago | (#47324511)

"So, is it surprising that the company ... is having problems connecting with the general population in 2014?"

Stupid loaded question. It is not having problems "connecting with the general population", unless by "connecting" you mean a completely different verb.

Re:we speak english here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324807)

Yessir, Facebook and Google are the most failed companies in history at connecting people? Who thinks and writes this drivel?

This is only facebook's problem if (1)

kruach aum (1934852) | about 4 months ago | (#47324535)

HR discriminates based on gender or race rather than ability. The composition of its workforce tells us nothing about this, as correlation does not equal causation. ... which is not nearly click-baitey enough, so we get tripe like this "article".

I call BS (1)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | about 4 months ago | (#47324537)

I am positive these big companies go out of their way to only hire white dudes. I bet the CEOs all have white sheets and pointy hats in their closets.

Re:I call BS (1)

kick6 (1081615) | about 4 months ago | (#47324625)

I am positive these big companies go out of their way to only hire white dudes. I bet the CEOs all have white sheets and pointy hats in their closets.

I bet they only print on white paper too, those bastards.

predominantly white countries (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324543)

Predominantly white countries, founded by white people have predominantly white people working for them. The horror...
Go to South Korea where I spent a few years working. Almost noone there is non Korean..

White Men (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324549)

No wonder the Internet—like running water—is so Evil!

Segregation By Choice (1)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 4 months ago | (#47324551)

This debacle with people complaining about Silicon Valley's low female/minority hiring rate sounds to me like a case of segregation by choice - Facebook, Google, et al are not actually discriminating against females or minorities. There's just no evidence of it, because if there was, there would be federal lawsuits pending. What this sounds like is a case of segregation by choice - there aren't a whole lot of female or minority CS grads out there applying to Silicon Valley firms. Attempting to regulate segregation by choice is never a good idea, because it can't be fixed without a complete social upheaval.

To get an idea of how much trying to regulate this kind of thing can screw stuff up, all you have to do is look at Connecticut. In CT, about 20 years ago, we had a major lawsuit known as Sheff v. O'Neill. The suit concerned the fact that schools in the urban areas of Connecticut have a very high minority population - I believe that when the suit was filed, Hartford (our capitol city) had schools with a 90% minority population, and the plaintiff (an eight year old boy named Milo Sheff) couldn't get state aid to go to a school in another area where the schools weren't 90% minority populated. Hartford's schools are also well-known for being some of the lowest-performing in the state.

The state lost that lawsuit, and their solution to the problem so far has been to spend millions of dollars subsidizing magnet schools to attract white students to Hartford and bussing students long distances to try to meet the racial quotas set by the Sheff suit. They really haven't been successful, because the population demographics continue to remain the same, and there's only so much the state can do to fix that.

The same thing is true for tech companies - they can subsidize computer science education for girls and minority students all they want, but that doesn't mean that the girls and minority students are going to take that offer.

Re:Segregation By Choice (1)

hsmith (818216) | about 4 months ago | (#47324637)

Perhaps it is because people don't find those companies do anything worth note. Google and Facebook try to recruit me once a year and I simply have no interest in working for them - I don't find anything compelling that they do for me personally. Perhaps females want to work somewhere that has a better mission than what they offer?

Everyone is looking for the discrimination angle but I think it is simpler than that.

Gawker (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324561)

You'll never find a more wretched hive of scum and SJW's.

New Employee of the Month... (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 4 months ago | (#47324573)

A beige hermaphroditic dwarf with a Mohawk and a love for Polka and yodeling with vegan nudists on double shifts..

Stupid Blacks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324591)

Do you know what Obama's approval rating is amongst blacks?

87%

(http://www.gallup.com/poll/124922/presidential-approval-center.aspx)

My god, how our country is cursed by these nitwits.

If "diversity" means putting more of those simpletons into positions of power, fuck diversity.

Re:Stupid Blacks (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47324659)

You say that as if George W. Bush wasn't a simpleton.

Re:Stupid Blacks (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 months ago | (#47324693)

Do you know what Obama's approval rating is amongst blacks?

87%

(http://www.gallup.com/poll/124922/presidential-approval-center.aspx)

My god, how our country is cursed by these nitwits.

If "diversity" means putting more of those simpletons into positions of power, fuck diversity.

You realise there may be all sorts of legitimate reasons for this. Maybe the approve because they see Obama as no worse than most other politicians, but see that he also provides a positive role-model for blacks. Maybe more black people are in demographics that benefit from his policies. Maybe they value different things to you when evaluating how good he is.

Re:Stupid Blacks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47325035)

Maybe they value different things to you when evaluating how good he is.

They value his race. Doesn't that make them racists?

creation is trysexual every imaginable color (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324621)

so why do we keep trying to count each other as 'others'?

vast majority ordinarians will not do dirty deeds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324667)

we just do not think that way due to intact conscienses? no wonder we've been unchosen again? just ask noam promotion going well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CKpCGjD8wg&list=PL456D453B409DF8D1

Weird comments (1, Informative)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47324645)

I've been reading a few comments about how poor people can't afford technology.

We're in 2014, I don't believe such arguments. You can easily get more-than-capable computers for absolutely free. It may be older Pentium 4 era computers, but you can still code, program and use the Internet with them. You don't need powerful computers for the things that Facebook, Twitter and others are doing. And we're also not talking about games or HD video here, so even a low-end DSL connection will be sufficient.

Re:Weird comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47325119)

so even a low-end DSL connection will be sufficient. ... for $25 per month

I call bullshit (3, Interesting)

JustNiz (692889) | about 4 months ago | (#47324661)

can we get over these complete bullshit stories about gender and race prejudice in high tech offices? Nothing I have seen during my 35 years of being a software developer at many different companies has suggested this is even remotely true.

Literally every company I have ever worked at has gone above and beyond all existing laws to make sure there is absolutely no racial or gender-prejudice in hiring in any way . In fact they err on the side of caution so much it actually seems to be a positive advantage at interview time to be a female, or racial minority, or disabled. if you're all 3 you could probably name your own salary (joke).

I refuse to believe that these days anyone can't get a job at a high-tech company just because of skin color, gender or racial origin. Not least because if they could even slightly prove that, they could sue and it would be all over the news, and the companies themselves are hyper-sensitive to this.

I'd bet a stack on that the fact that high-tech companies are still more filled with white guys than anything else solely because that where nearly all the (actually suitable) job applications come from in the first place.

If you want to force an actually very biassed and unnatural 50% racial and gender balance in the work place, then you need to look at why its still mostly white guys that apply in the first place, not blame the companies for hiring from the pool of suitable applicants who are actually out there.

Re:I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324829)

I'd bet a stack on that the fact that high-tech companies are still more filled with white guys than anything else solely because that where nearly all the (actually suitable) job applications come from in the first place.

I think they are full of white guys because they hire on the basis of ability and do not otherwise discriminate.

Re:I call bullshit (1)

gewalker (57809) | about 4 months ago | (#47325023)

I have no doubt that there are IT positions where the people responsible for hiring are biased in terms of gender or race. You know its true because they are people and some people suck.

From my observations, It is more likely that they are biased against Chinese or Indian developers than they are against blacks or women though. However, this is not general racial bias as much as it is language / culture bias in that they find them difficult to understand or work with.

I am more than ready to just let life go on without the constant cry or "racist" or "sexist" coming from the nattering nabobs of negativism.

Awesome (3, Interesting)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | about 4 months ago | (#47324669)

So when can we expect to see the diversity reports on players in the NFL and NBA? How about gender diversity as it relates to employment in the healthcare industry?

Re:Awesome (1)

callahan2211 (1963904) | about 4 months ago | (#47324689)

And gender diversity in human resources.

silly premises (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 4 months ago | (#47324709)

If employee populations should be representative of customers, would Facebook be better off if they made the education and salary of their employees representative of their users? If paid their engineers $50k a year and hired mostly non-STEM majors? Would your hospital deliver better health care if its medical staff was representative of its patients in terms of education and salary? Would teachers teach better if they were representative of the student population? The whole point of an economy and division of labor is that businesses and their customers are not representative of each other.

Of course, as far as race is concerned, it is just irrelevant. I mean, who but a racist would seriously believe that you have to be (fill in some race) in order to write web software for (same race)?

You're talking to wrong end of the horse. (1)

style7711 (535582) | about 4 months ago | (#47324729)

You can hardly blame tech companies for a lack of diversity when the talent pool coming out of universities is milk toast. Source: Seeing 5 minority or women (non Asian) graduate in my 4 years at U.

Bloody nonsense (1)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | about 4 months ago | (#47324741)


At the end of the day there is a SHORTAGE of qualified IT professionals. We need all the qualified tech workers we can get our hands on.

Big companies like FB, Microsoft, Google etc are SCARED SHITLESS from getting their image ruined by a big public discrimination lawsuit. You know why? because the maximum amount of compensation is UNLIMITED. That means it takes one badly handled discharge or some bigoted idiot to lose millions.

Why do you think they keep hammering their equality statements etc? A: Reputation, B: Fear of lawsuits

What about Amish people? how many Amish does FB employ? why are there no more Amish people in google? What about Sikhs in Microsoft?

Honestly, this is not tech news, this is garbage.

Careful what you wish for.... (3, Interesting)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 4 months ago | (#47324815)

You know, the deeper we look into these kinds of issues the more interesting it gets.

The real question here is not "why are there so few minorities at Company X" it's "why are there so few qualified candidates from minority group X to fill open positions?". We already have diversity legislation in place at Universities in America. In fact, there are more women graduates than men. Yet so few of the females grads are getting degrees in CS. Why is that? It is certainly not because of lack of opportunity. Could it be that maybe - just maybe - women don't want to be programmers?

How about African Americans and other minority groups? Well, clearly the number of University students as a percentage of the total population is much lower than society in general. The question is why? Partly economic to be sure. But loans and grants are available to nearly everyone. Yet the number of black and latino college entrants is far lower, on a percentage basis, than they are for whites. Why is that?

Is it possible that, in general, black and latino kids just don't put as high a value on a college education as white kids do? And, therefore, just don't work as hard to get the good grades necessary to get into a good college? What part does having children out of wedlock play in this? Black and latino women have a much higher instance of this than either white or Asian women.

I'm not trying to point fingers or cast blame here and I certainly don't pretend to have all the answers. But it does raise some interesting questions.

I hate to be Captain Obvious here but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47324833)

But last I checked at my local county park, I never once seen a group of black kids all huddled around there laptops swapping code snippets for fun, but have seen them playing hoops and dreaming bout being the next Jordon. However I have seen white kids who play D&D spend hours on hours writing code for a simple dice algorithms.. Lets put things in perspective please do not expect percent's to be different when the general population prides B-Ball skills over tech skills. Its not a job thing, its a society thing. Also, do not make a tech company feel it needs to hire personnel who are black just so they seem more equal. People go where they want..or where the money, fame and posterity is. For Black kids it's sports, for white kids its anything lazy that lets you sit on you butt for long periods...(and remember white kids can't jump)

-Written by Angry Asian Woman

Wrong diversity pools being measured... (1)

Fallen Kell (165468) | about 4 months ago | (#47324839)

I love everyone complaining about diversity at the tech companies and comparing against the diversity of the general population. The problem is that is not the pool they can hire from. They can only hire from the pool of people graduating with degrees in things like computer science, software engineering, computer engineering, or have great personal knowledge/experience in those fields. That is the diversity pool that they have to work from. I forget which company it was, but last year one company hired 50% of all the African American new graduates with a Phd in Computer Science in the entire country. They hired 1 person to do that...

Re:Wrong diversity pools being measured... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 4 months ago | (#47325093)

Good thing they didn't hire 33% or 66% of all the African American new graduates.

Given little variation between them... (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 4 months ago | (#47324885)

...it seems like this is obviously due to larger cultural factors with the *applicants* rather than with the people doing the hiring.

The idea that HR departments at both Facebook and Google could be not only both racist, but equally racist, defies imagination.

On the other hand, Facebook and Google draw applicants from the same demographic pool - and those whose culture is technically and academically successful happens to correlate with self-identified "race" (a sad and arbitrary distinction if there ever was one).

Inner city urban thug culture is a failure, period. It just so happens more dark skinned people are stuck in those cultures than light skinned people. Unfortunately, the only people who can make the choice to change *their* culture are the people in it.

Resume requirements (1)

jmd (14060) | about 4 months ago | (#47325045)

How can poor minorities obtain employment in the tech giants when one of the requirements is to list "lived in Mom's basement for 1 year"

So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47325077)

Are we going to force women, blacks, Jews and every else to sit in front of computers and become programmers?

"White Male" isn't the issue here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47325103)

If you compare demographics of society to those at Yahoo, Facebook and Google, the "White Male" is not overrepresented - in fact, there are almost perfectly represented from the rest of the American workforce. Blacks and Hispanics are greatly underrepresented, while Asians are greatly overrepresented. Asians at these companies are about 3x the level of the workforce or population in general.

The question everyone should be asking is why the Asian minority is doing dramatically better in these fields than black and hispanic minorities.

When was the last time a White dude... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47325155)

When was the last time a White dude acted as your clerk at the DMV, or taught your kindergarden class? Pimply faced white dudes were playing with computers in the 80s while the rest of you did something else. This is the inevitable outcome. Deal with it.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?