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Facebook Refuses To Share Employee Race and Gender Data

Soulskill posted about 4 months ago | from the concerned-about-privacy-after-all dept.

Facebook 250

theodp writes "Back in 2007, Representative Maxine Waters asked Google's HR Chief, "How many [of Google's employees] are African-American?" After 7+ years of stonewalling, Google has pledged to finally divulge diversity data on its workforce for the first time. While the U.S. government requires all major employers to file diversity statistics with the EEOC, Google convinced the Dept. of Labor that the race and gender of its work force is a trade secret that should not have to be released to the public. Google now concedes that it has been 'reluctant to divulge that data' and 'quite frankly, we are wrong about that.' Interestingly, Facebook apparently has no such compunctions about refusing to disclose data on the racial and gender makeup of its employees, even as CEO Mark Zuckerberg lobbies Congress for changes to the makeup of the U.S. workforce. Pressed on the matter by the Rev. Jesse Jackson at Facebook's annual shareholder meeting, the WSJ reports that COO and gender equality advocate Sheryl Sandberg rebuffed Jackson's request, saying, 'It's really important to share [the Facebook diversity numbers] internally, and eventually externally.'"

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Facebook just care about privacy. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078439)

That's all. Sharing demographic and other personal data is something they've been staunchly against since their founding. The government, being entirely unbiased toward people with enough money to buy it off, has appreciated Zuckerberg's principled stance.

Re:Facebook just care about privacy. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078569)

That's all. Sharing demographic and other personal data is something they've been staunchly against since their founding. The government, being entirely unbiased toward people with enough money to buy it off, has appreciated Zuckerberg's principled stance.

I know it is PC to rant on Facebook privacy on Slashdot, but I've never understood why. It is a service that you voluntarily sign up for and every time you share something you actively choose to share that info, who to share it with. And all the people here who think (or pretend to) that Facebook privacy controls are difficult, really?? Hand in your geek card, they are and have always been quite easy, straight forward settings. If you can't handle that, you perhaps should reconsider having an internet connected PC.

Re:Facebook just care about privacy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47079203)

I think the big problem related to facebook privacy is the fact that they'll make changes to their privacy settings, and in the process, change yours (this isn't just fb btw, google has done the same thing). My biggest argument against using such services is that what you said is true today, but what happens when their next CEO decides that all data (future, present & past) is now open to everyone? Just because they have such a policy today, doesn't mean it'll be policy tomorrow.

Aside from that though, you are correct. It's a free service and you're free to not use them.

Re:Facebook just care about privacy. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47079289)

[Facebook] is a service that you voluntarily sign up for and every time you share something you actively choose to share that info, who to share it with.

Not everyone [digitaltrends.com] signs up for it.

One drop rule? (2, Insightful)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 4 months ago | (#47078451)

Race is an illusion. It's none of my employer's business where my ancestors may have hailed from.

Re:One drop rule? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078527)

True, but it is society's business to counter systematic discrimination, and society has decided that collecting racial statistics are relevant to this. If you don't have a problem with discrimination, campaign for a repeal of laws which are designed to monitor it - don't just break the law. Unless you have no need for society to protect your rights, of course.

Re:One drop rule? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078689)

Nice logical fallacy at the end of your statement there, it really tanks your whole line of thinking there.

Re:One drop rule? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078775)

The logical fallacy that I find it unreasonable that you expect people to expect your rights even while you won't respect other people's?

If you think that it is "none of my employer's business" to collect data required to enforce the law, it means you have a problem with society providing the means to enforce the law.

Re:One drop rule? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47079503)

You are begging the question. There is no data collection required to enforce the law. They are choosing to collect the data as a means to verify the law, but there is no law that said data must be collected. You are full of shit.

Re:One drop rule? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078801)

What makes you think because I didn't hire you, and you happen to be black, that I'm somehow a racist, or discriminating? Maybe I'm looking for specialized EE's with a specific field of experience to finish out a project, and your degree and experience just don't fit the position I'm looking for? Maybe you're unqualified. Maybe the graduates moving into my industry are predominantly from a single race, or predominantly not of a single race. How does that make me a racist? If you think your skin color entitles you to a job at my company, you're mistaken. Your attitude and experience do.

How many different races a company hires to fill a quota is no sign of a lack of discrimination. Hiring qualified workers regardless of race is a sign of a discrimination-free workplace. In fact, filling a quota often causes more problems than it solves on the discrimination front.

If my company is still 80% Caucasian, or 80% Asian, or 80% African is irrelevant to how discriminatory or not a company is. Hiring based on race is. Those are two different things. What's the diversity look like over at BET, or at your local Asian market? Do they have to meet diversity standards too? The only people that apply for some jobs are the only ones that want that job. I can't help it if a disproportionate number of those applicants are the same color.

In a highly technical business industry I shouldn't have to seek out unqualified people in order to check a box and feel good about doing NOTHING AT ALL to solve discrimination. I should hire the most qualified applicants, and spend my efforts at diversity elsewhere, like raising STEM awareness in public schools, or offering scholarships an internships to qualified candidates. Make your workplace appealing to all comers, and you'll see diversity naturally happen. But as long as our only company appeal is "we care so much about race, we played human pokemon" we're going to have this race problem hanging around. We shouldn't have diversity guidelines at all, because as a society, we've moved past the point of thinking race actually matters, right? So why don't we act like it?

The reason racism is still a pervasive problem is that we keep bringing it up and talking about it like it's a problem. Ignore or punish the haters, and eventually they'll die of old age or aneurysms, and we can move on with life as a whole.

(Yes, I'm optimistic. No, I don't think this will actually work. Yes, tribalism still occurs across all races and genders and sports affiliations. No, it's still not acceptable for a civilized society.)

Re:One drop rule? (0)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#47079483)

What makes you think because I didn't hire you, and you happen to be black, that I'm somehow a racist, or discriminating?

Nothing, because one person is not statistically significant. But if you have a workforce of 10,000, and none of them are black, then you might need to explain how that could have happened without systematic racism.

Re:One drop rule? (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about 4 months ago | (#47079111)

... Unless you have no need for society to protect your rights, of course.

Yeah, and no need to pay off the mob, either... unless you need them to protect you, of course.

Re:One drop rule? (2)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about 4 months ago | (#47079147)

If a company like google is not hiring certain races of people, I suspect it is not because of discrimination at google. I am pretty sure the problem can be traced all the way back to the inequality in public schools. When you have affluent school districts with tons of money and high university acceptance and attendance and poor schools where all the minorities go with high drop out rates and low university acceptance and attendance, you can't just expect google to hire people of different races equally and fix everything.

If there is one thing companies care about, it is making profit. They will hire whoever they can to maximize profit. I don;t think Google and other companies like Google would be begging for more H1B visas to hire more minorities from other countries if they were racist.

They are trying to maximize the talent of their workforce for the least amount of money. Any unnecessary discrimination would be cutting into their bottom line.

Re:One drop rule? (0)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 4 months ago | (#47079395)

I am pretty sure the problem can be traced all the way back to the inequality in public schools.

Of course there's no inequality in private schools. Right.

I don;t think Google and other companies like Google would be begging for more H1B visas to hire more minorities from other countries if they were racist.

Non sequitur. American slaver owners were racist but were happy to have more Africans imported into the country to enslave.

Any unnecessary discrimination would be cutting into their bottom line.

Not at all. In a racist and sexist environment, where folks who are not white males are generally underpaid compared to us white guys, a company maximizes profits by continuing that underpayment, perhaps just doing it slightly less than their competition. ("The industry average is that Group A are underpaid by X%. Amalgamated Profits Inc. only underpays Group A by (0.9*X)%, so as a member of Group A boy am I glad to have a job here.")

Re:One drop rule? (2)

rossdee (243626) | about 4 months ago | (#47079339)

You have to provide your employer with your SSN, and probably other government ID number(s) like drivers license or professional certification number. The government has the data on your race, gender, age etc. Therefore your employer doesn't need to know those details, it can just provide the government with the list of employees, and the government can calculate the percentages.

Re:One drop rule? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47079445)

It is not society's business to counter systematic discrimination, it's society's business to not have a government that engages in it or passes laws that encourage it.

Your entire worldview is full of shit. It's basically the left-wing asshole's equivalent of the right-wing asshole's "If you don't love America, you can giiiiit out!".

Asshole.

yep, stupid. Teaching my kid her race is "wtf?" (3, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about 4 months ago | (#47078799)

On my daughter's birth certificate, I was quite tempted to enter it as "who cares, what year is it, 1814?"

When Milan gets older and asks whether she's white, black, or Mexican, I may tell her "you are Milan, that's all. You're not a group, you are you."
If she presses me, asking where her great-great-grandparents lived, they honest answer is "A lot of places, I don't know them all. Probably some in Jamaica, some either Ireland, Scotland, or both, some in Texas somewhere , but maybe that part of Texas was Mexico at the time."

Re: yep, stupid. Teaching my kid her race is "wtf? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078871)

Good work. Set her up to be another rootless cosmopolitan drone.

Re:yep, stupid. Teaching my kid her race is "wtf?" (2)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about 4 months ago | (#47078903)

And what if Milan is turned down for jobs based on her appearance or gender?

Does her race matter then?

Going forward, whites are just as likely to suffer racial discrimination.

There are many construction companies where you can't get a job unless you are hispanic. It's not about the pay. It's not about your skills. It's not whether you can speak spanish.

It's flat out because a "white" won't "fit in" with a hispanic crew.

There is a reason we made that kind of behavior illegal to begin with.

Re: yep, stupid. Teaching my kid her race is "wtf? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078971)

Wrong. Only whites can be racist. Jesse jacskson al Sharpton said so

Re:yep, stupid. Teaching my kid her race is "wtf?" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47079253)

And what if Milan is turned down for jobs based on her appearance or gender?

Does her race matter then?

Ok, I'll bite. No, her race still won't matter.

I now await your reply explaining why my response is "hypocritical", because I am genuinely curious why you seem to think it is.

Re:yep, stupid. Teaching my kid her race is "wtf?" (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | about 4 months ago | (#47079123)

> When Milan gets older and asks whether she's white, black, or Mexican, I may tell
> her "you are Milan, that's all. You're not a group, you are you."

"Dad, do you want me to get this passport or not?".
"Put white."

I had to teach my child her race. Who's stupid? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47079385)

This thread is going to be mostly about white male suburbanites complaining that race is irrelevant. Because when you're not part of the target group, it's easy to pretend nobody's being targeted. Little lily white girls don't have to suck off cops to keep themselves from being raped.

My daughter had to be taught that when a cop asks her for her papers, visa, green card etc. she is to say "I am an American citizen, and I don't need any papers, and my daddy knows your boss". Not because my daughter's Mexican (she isn't) but because she looks like she might be. If your daughter's less than lily white, you might want to re-evaluate your position. Reality doesn't bow to your philosophy.

Re:One drop rule? (2, Insightful)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 4 months ago | (#47078809)

Race is primarily a social construct, rather than a genetic one. Your race is still a label that bigots use as a basis for discrimination, "imaginary" or not.

Re:One drop rule? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078841)

It is true that your race is nobody else's business, and that is why you should always respond with "none" when your employer asks you to report yours.

Re:One drop rule? (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | about 4 months ago | (#47078901)

Perhaps, but you don't get that defense when you start talking about "Our company ROCKS on [racial] diversity! ... but how much it rocks in that regard is a 'trade secret', yeah, that's it."

I wonder... (1)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | about 4 months ago | (#47078453)

...how many minorities Facebook hired between when the request was made and when they finally complied. Would be interesting to see before and after data.

Re:I wonder... (4, Informative)

sabri (584428) | about 4 months ago | (#47078607)

how many minorities Facebook hired between when the request was made and when they finally complied. Would be interesting to see before and after data.

I don't work for Facebook, but I have been on their MPK campus as a contractor many times. I can tell you from first hand experience that Facebook is a very culturally diverse environment where everyone, regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender, is welcomed. It looks like a mini San Francisco.

Re:I wonder... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078881)

Looking at your post history, you seem to be some sort of corporate apologist, for everyone from Facebook to Comcast. You also seem to be something of an expert on US immigration law. From this, we can infer that when you say "culturally diverse," what you really mean is "mostly Indians." Does the shilling pay well?

Re:I wonder... (3, Insightful)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about 4 months ago | (#47079165)

Judging by your post history, you are the most prolific and also the dumbest person on Slashdot.

Re:I wonder... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 4 months ago | (#47079201)

What Facebook doesn't want you to know is that the entire place is run by a single person. To comply with diversity laws they got a guy who's equal parts white, black, American Indian and Korean. He's also a left-handed lesbian Eskimo albino. I believe he finds Facebook to be a VERY diverse workplace!

Maxine Waters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078471)

Maxine Waters and Jessie Jackson are two of the biggest frauds in the US today. They're like the black versions of George Bush and Donald Rumsfield. Lying scum that make money by hurting others. George Bush doesn't care about black people and neither does Jessie Jackson. They care about lining their own pockets and protecting their friends.

Re:Maxine Waters (5, Interesting)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 4 months ago | (#47078805)

Maxine Waters and Jessie Jackson are two of the biggest frauds in the US today. They're like the black versions of George Bush and Donald Rumsfield. Lying scum that make money by hurting others. George Bush doesn't care about black people and neither does Jessie Jackson. They care about lining their own pockets and protecting their friends.

GWB may be many things. But a racist, I have a hard time believing. And to say that GWB cares for black people in the same way Jesse Jackson and Maxine Waters do is frankly insulting to GWB.

Racism is wrong, but Affirmative Action is right. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078485)

It is wrong for you to discriminate based on race, but it is ok if I do it because I said so!

Re:Racism is wrong, but Affirmative Action is righ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078657)

It is wrong for you to discriminate based on race, but it is ok if I do it because I said so!

This is correct. Its the same that If a non-white person calls me a honky, its racist. If i call another white person a honky its not racist because im white*.
This is how the world works. In the same way, it is perfectly OK for a black person to call himself or other black people ni****s, but it is in no way OK for anybody else to call them that. Hip hop music and African American culture teaches us this.

PS. please be aware that i am in no way proud to be white as that is clearly racist and evil. I only feel guilt for being born white and I am very very sorry for being born this way. Please forgive me for the sins of my race.

Re:Racism is wrong, but Affirmative Action is righ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47079199)

PS. please be aware that i am in no way proud to be white as that is clearly racist and evil. I only feel guilt for being born white and I am very very sorry for being born this way. Please forgive me for the sins of my race

Alright, you dang honky.

EEO (1)

Jason Richardson (3648805) | about 4 months ago | (#47078495)

EEO data is always private at the company level. The public only has access to the industry level data without the permission of the firm. Otherwise the firms have incentive to lie and the dataset itself is worthless.

Ugg the diversity brigade strikes again (5, Insightful)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 4 months ago | (#47078523)

As much as I hate Facebook (and merely strongly dislike Google) why is this an issue? The implicit assumption behind this seems to be that diversity can only happen if you get people who look different in the same room. and that's nonsense.

These are both companies that are chomping at the bit to hire h1b's who are expressly non-white and hail from overseas countries. (The fact that they get to work as indentured servants with lower than average wages is another discussion). It's not as if it's a good-ole boy's club over at the googleplex.

If google and facebook could find qualified black (or American employees in general) employees, wouldn't they do that rather than importing people from India/Pakistan/$wherever? Implying that these companies are racist because they aren't hiring many blacks says less about facebook or google -- and more about our country. (or more accurately about Maxine Waters and Jesse Jackson playing the race card constantly to stay relevant.. )

Re:Ugg the diversity brigade strikes again (0)

JeffOwl (2858633) | about 4 months ago | (#47078595)

The interesting statistics are not merely how many total employees come from each ethnic background. It is the makeup of the various levels of management from 1st line managers all the way up to Senior VPs.

Ugg the diversity brigade strikes again (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078599)

So glad my work doesnt hire any niggers. I couldnt stand working with those tar monkeys.

Re:Ugg the diversity brigade strikes again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078715)

You should not need to call names.

Re:Ugg the diversity brigade strikes again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078609)

If google and facebook could find qualified black (or American employees in general) employees, wouldn't they do that rather than importing people from India/Pakistan/$wherever? Implying that these companies are racist because they aren't hiring many blacks says less about facebook or google -- and more about our country. (or more accurately about Maxine Waters and Jesse Jackson playing the race card constantly to stay relevant.. )

But..but.. the hackers on TV shows are always black guys with glasses

Re:Ugg the diversity brigade strikes again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078617)

If google and facebook could find qualified black (or American employees in general) employees

They can, except that they've altered their internal definitions of "qualified" to specifically exclude Americans.

Re:Ugg the diversity brigade strikes again (4, Insightful)

gnupun (752725) | about 4 months ago | (#47078621)

As much as I hate Facebook (and merely strongly dislike Google) why is this an issue?

Why? Facebook collects and compiles detailed information about its members (starting with requiring users use their real name) but won't reveal even the most trivial information about itself... Total hypocrisy and double standards. Somehow FB's privacy is important but that of ordinary people is not.

Also, these companies are lobbying to increase the h1b quota so knowing the demographics of their workforce is relevant.

Re:Ugg the diversity brigade strikes again (2)

xfade551 (2627499) | about 4 months ago | (#47078757)

Oddly, race/ethnicity is the one piece of personal information Facebook does not ask (and nag) you for when you create an account.

Re:Ugg the diversity brigade strikes again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078839)

People willingly go out of their way to give Facebook their personal information. If they do not care about their privacy, that's their damn problem. Zuckwhatisit is not pointing a gun to anyone and forcing them to sign up or die.
Facebook, rightfully, doesn't want to breach their employees privacy without their consent. If they did, the PC police might force them to fire people whose only fault is not being born either black or female.

Re:Ugg the diversity brigade strikes again (1)

JumperCable (673155) | about 4 months ago | (#47078731)

If google and facebook could find qualified black (or American employees in general) employees, wouldn't they do that rather than importing people from India/Pakistan/$wherever?

That depends. Are those Amercian employees willing to work for the same salary offer as those India/Pakitan/$whatever and be content? They are shooting for a cheap labor market.

Re:Ugg the diversity brigade strikes again (1, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 4 months ago | (#47078777)

As much as I hate Facebook (and merely strongly dislike Google) why is this an issue?

In my experience, when a corporation makes up some outlandish BS like "trade secrets" to hide information, it's because there's something worth covering up.

Re:Ugg the diversity brigade strikes again (1)

russbutton (675993) | about 4 months ago | (#47078791)

Chances are were you to look at Facebook's demographics, not only would you find it to be either white or Asian Americans or H1-B Indians, as well as lacking in American blacks and latinos, you'd also find it be a very young crowd as well. Chances are there are very few people over the age of 35 who are not in the executive class. Even then, you'd probably not find many older workers even as executives.

Zuckerberg has made no effort to hide his disdain for older workers as well as anyone else. A disclosure of Facebook's demographics would likely open them up to many, many $millions in discrimination lawsuits.

Remember that today's college graduates are having a difficult time finding work while Zuckerberg and his like are doing their best to bring in South Asians on H1-B visas. The excuse for the H1-B visa is that you can't find anyone to do that work. The truth is you can't find anyone to do that work for minimum wage...

Clearly Zuckerberg hasn't got enough money.

Re:Ugg the diversity brigade strikes again (1)

xfade551 (2627499) | about 4 months ago | (#47078803)

I'm pretty sure they higher eastern Europeans under H1Bs for dirt cheap labor, too. And I'm pretty sure those same eastern Europeans qualify as "white" (with rare exceptions).

Re:Ugg the diversity brigade strikes again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47079031)

As much as I hate Facebook (and merely strongly dislike Google) why is this an issue? The implicit assumption behind this seems to be that diversity can only happen if you get people who look different in the same room. and that's nonsense.

These are both companies that are chomping at the bit to hire h1b's who are expressly non-white and hail from overseas countries. (The fact that they get to work as indentured servants with lower than average wages is another discussion). It's not as if it's a good-ole boy's club over at the googleplex.

If google and facebook could find qualified black (or American employees in general) employees, wouldn't they do that rather than importing people from India/Pakistan/$wherever? Implying that these companies are racist because they aren't hiring many blacks says less about facebook or google -- and more about our country. (or more accurately about Maxine Waters and Jesse Jackson playing the race card constantly to stay relevant.. )

I'd say it matters because there are companies that are absolutely hiring people based on race, even today.

Case in point, have a friend who worked for ASUS. Out of a roughly 300 person campus in Fremont, CA, my friend could only come up with 10 non-Asian employees. That covers white, black, hispanic and everything else. Do the math, and it's like 97-98% of the workforce was made up of Asians. Not only that, they all seemed to be ethnically Taiwanese or Chinese. All the top management was Asian; no non-Asians made it above your baseline supervisor position. I don't know about anyone else, but I am unable to come up with a viable explanation to explain such demographic inequality without it being a deliberate policy that came from the very top.

My friend, who's white, was harassed pretty routinely by his Asian coworkers at ASUS. Finally he made a complaint about how he considered it to be racially motivated to one of his coworkers. She then files a complaint about my friend, the ASUS HR department flatly refused to investigate my friend's complaint of being harassed because he's white despite them fully recognizing that he made that claim in the official HR report, and within a week my friend is no longer working at ASUS. So not only do you have what appears to be highly racist hiring policies, but the few non-Asians who are hired are subjected to swift retaliation if they dare question their Asian overlords and do not say thank you every time a big helping of abuse is heaped on them.

The EEOC and state counterparts are completely and utterly worthless at dealing with these issues. They have very few teeth left after pro-business types are willing to sell their rights away for the mere promise of more jobs and what teeth they do have ends up being focused on only the most egregious of cases because budgets that were never more than meager to begin with, are generally first on the chopping block come any kind of economic downturn, which is when employers become especially emboldened to pull these kinds of stunts. So the sad reality is that plenty of companies can and do get away with blatantly racist activity, even after it's brought to the attention of proper authorities.

Yes, giving the teeth back to the EEOC and state counterparts and charging them with vigorously enforcing laws that have been on the books for 40 years would be the better solution... But, if the proper authorities can't and/or won't act then this is a better solution than doing nothing.

Re:Ugg the diversity brigade strikes again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47079181)

Asian society as a whole is very caste-based, isn't it?

Re:Ugg the diversity brigade strikes again (1)

phorm (591458) | about 4 months ago | (#47079067)

"If google and facebook could find qualified black (or American employees in general) employees, wouldn't they do that rather than importing people from X"

Not if you count "qualified" as "skilled and willing to work for only $X level wage"

Re:Ugg the diversity brigade strikes again (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 4 months ago | (#47079591)

It's not as if it's a good-ole boy's club over at the googleplex.

Source for that statement? What if it turns out it is? Is that "none of the government's business"? Is it up to brave consumers to decide if we care or not, and apply market pressure on google by not buying their products?

If google and facebook could find qualified black (or American employees in general) employees, wouldn't they do that rather than importing people from India/Pakistan/$wherever?

No. That's part of the problem. There are plenty of qualified employees here. When you import people, you get two very nice things from a corporate perspective: 1. Lower cost. 2. More control.

Fear of getting their visa revoked makes these workers easier to bully and manipulate. And they will work for less. That is the reason big tech wants to look overseas, not a lack of talent stateside.

Which brings us back to the original point - if a company is systematically passing over people because they are (black, female, the wrong kind of christian, etc) - it's hard to do anything about it if they never release those stats. For a company as big as google or facebook, that kind of thing could really put a damper in a qualified person's ability to find a job and feed their family. So we need to decide as a society - does that bother us? If not, then business as usual. But if it does, then we need larger companies (at the very least) to report who they hire, so we can try our best to identify potential trouble.

Doesn't want the public to know how many H1Bs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078525)

He doesn't want the public to be able to see how many Indians and other H1Bs he employs.

"We need more STEM majors!" What a crock of shit.

Diversity at all costs! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078565)

Because we all know that diversity is the MOST important thing. Better have a black doctor instead of one who performs the best. Make sure that coder is a woman because even if she isn't as talented as the white male, its BETTER!!!! Because basing things off of race is RACIST..err I mean NOT BASING things off race is RACISTS err....wait what was I saying?

Stupid is as stupid does (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078813)

Bullshit. Bullshit is what you were saying.

Re:Stupid is as stupid does (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078909)

Not really.. you should see the amount of affirmative action that goes on at the law school I attended (somebody accidentally shared a spreadsheet he shouldn't have). The grandparent poster is on the mark. Would you really trust a black doctor who was a quota admit to med school?

Better you than me.

Re:Stupid is as stupid does (4, Insightful)

BronsCon (927697) | about 4 months ago | (#47079531)

And if I'm reading you right, you're not saying you shouldn't trust a black doctor, just that you shouldn't trust an *unqualified* black doctor. Which, because you can't tell one from the other until after the fact, as a result of affirmative action, translates to "don't trust a black doctor".

People are going to call me a racist for this and I don't care. If someone can't piece this together for themselves and thinks my comments have anything to do with race (rather than the ludicrous, and patently racist, expectation that members of one race be judged on a different scale than members of another race), I can't be bothered to care what they think.

Affirmative action is bullshit!

Yes, you read that right. Affirmative action is bullshit. It only superficially helps black people who think they can't succeed without it; in reality, it only serves to help guilty racist old white guys sleep better at night. It's holding the black community back more than anything else, at this point, specifically for the reason stated at the top of this post.

A black guy and a white guy enter your office, both have the same degree form the same school. You know the white guy got into that school on his own merits, but, because of affirmative action, you don't know whether the black guy deserved to get in, or if he was accepted to fill a quota. That's not to say the black guy couldn't have possibly gotten into that school on his own merits, just that you don't, and can't, know that he did, because you have no way of knowing whether that school needed to fill a seat with a black guy in order to comply with the law. Likewise, when you hire the black guy, your customers have no way of knowing if you hired him because of his qualifications, or to comply with the law. Were you hiring the most qualified candidate, or just filling a quota? Your customers have no way of knowing.

All affirmative action hiring laws do is force people to hire people they don't want to and, therefore, shouldn't hire, regardless of reason.

Put yourself in the shoes of a black man for a moment (black guys, this should be easy for you)... Without affirmative action, would you have a harder time finding a job, as a result of rampant racism? I can't answer definitively, but I'll admit the answer is likely a very loud "yes". But think about it; do you want to work for a racist company? Do you want to work for a company that only hired you because they had to? There are enough companies out there run by people who are not racist that you should be able to find a job without having to settle for working at one that is. By forcing companies to hire you based on race, affirmative action prevents that; you don't know whether the company you're working for is run by racist assholes who hired you to fill a "black seat", or if they truly did hire you based on your qualifications; regardless of your qualifications. As a result of affirmative action, you could be willingly lining the pockets of a group of racist white guys and not even know it.

There are plenty of qualified and capable minority workers in the workforce. The trouble is, for anything that requires a higher level of trust than a cashier or cart retriever, affirmative action makes it impossible to tell, as a customer, whether the minority worker you're dealing with is actually qualified for the position until it's too late (if they're not). That's not to say every white guy who gets hired is qualified. Cronyism is definitely rampant, as well; but the fact is it's easier to fire a white guy who doesn't perform than it is to fire a minority worker for any reason, again due to affirmative action laws.

I don't know what the solution to this problem is, but I do know that it is not affirmative action. Maybe affirmative action is the best we can do and, if that's the case, that's a really sad situation for everyone involved. I know I don't want to be treated by a less-than-qualified doctor, and so I'm forced to avoid anyone who may have been hired to fill a seat; and there's nothing racist about that.

90 Percent Indian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078581)

Mostly H1-B, with a few fraudsters here on the wrong visa. Facebook doesn't want this data to get out because it will very clearly illustrate their discriminatory hiring practices, and will make class action lawsuits against them much, much easier.

Re:90 Percent Indian (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | about 4 months ago | (#47079107)

The number of H1-B employees is a matter of public record:

http://www.myvisajobs.com/Visa... [myvisajobs.com]

Facebook has 6818 employees. As you can see, there is no way for things to be mostly H1B, although H1B hiring has picked up recently (probably just because Facebook has grown).

almighty (2)

watcher-rv4 (2712547) | about 4 months ago | (#47078589)

Call NSA and ask them, they probably know the numbers.

Utter Hypocrisy (1)

MildlyTangy (3408549) | about 4 months ago | (#47078601)

This is no less than utter hypocrisy by Facebook.
Its all ok to share and data mine hundreds of millions of facebook users, but its not ok to do the same for their employees.

hypocrisy [hi-pok-ruh-see]
noun, plural hypocrisies.
1. Facebook.

Re:Utter Hypocrisy (1)

BronsCon (927697) | about 4 months ago | (#47079553)

Uhm... you don't see the difference between sharing data you collect with the understanding that it won't be shared and sharing data that people provide you specifically with the intent that you will share it? Wow.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078623)

I can think of at least one Jew.

I have the racial data right here. (4, Insightful)

genner (694963) | about 4 months ago | (#47078637)

Racial data -> 100% human race.
Not that hard.

Re:I have the racial data right here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078699)

Do you also believe there is only one race of dogs?

Re:I have the racial data right here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078957)

I believe so. One race, a fuckton of breeds.

Re:I have the racial data right here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078701)

I'm sure there are at least a couple monkeys there too...

Re:I have the racial data right here. (1)

cyberspittle (519754) | about 4 months ago | (#47078873)

Unlikely. The human race is a mix bag. There is no data on how many humans are Homo-Sapiens or Homo-Quantum.

I have the racial data right here. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47079267)

Don't be too sure. I imagine the reluctance stems largely from the embarrassment it would cause when the paperwork shows a percentage of "Anthropomorphic advanced tactical intelligence gathering probes from Zeta Reticuli" corresponding to exactly one employee.

Sick (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078651)

I am sick of Jesse Jackson and all these other nut bags constantly being in the news to discuss useless topics.

It is a private company. If Facebook chooses to hire an all "white" staff, it is none of your damn business. Don't like it? Don't use Facebook.

He doesn't have a "right" to anything a private company does.

Re:Sick (1)

JStyle (833234) | about 4 months ago | (#47078759)

But FaceBook isn't a private company. Hasn't been since 2012. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Sick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078877)

Oh well fuck it then. If it's public, why don't you and I just move right on in to Zuck's office. We own it right?

Re:Sick (1)

mjperson (160131) | about 4 months ago | (#47078761)

Actually he does have a right. He got into the shareholder's meeting by being a shareholder. It's his company too. Let him express his views to the board.

Re:Sick (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 4 months ago | (#47079413)

You mean let him express his views that only benefit his rainbow push coalition and his own endeavors? He's an extortionist, [judicialwatch.org] plain and simple with a long history of condemning businesses over racial issues and once they pay him off, he shuts up and supports them. Funny how that works. There's an excellent book on the subject. [amazon.com]

Re:Sick (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | about 4 months ago | (#47079245)

If Facebook chooses to hire an all "white" staff, it is none of your damn business. Don't like it? Don't use Facebook.

That's not a choice he has, because he doesn't know if Facebook is hiring an (essentially) all-white staff, because that's not disclosed.

I'm undecided on whether companies should have to disclose this, leaning toward no, they shouldn't, because in theory employees shouldn't have to disclose this information to Facebook itself (even if in many cases it's visibly obvious), so it shouldn't necessarily be possible for Facebook to furnish this information.

But you kind of made a good argument for "these other nut bags" because they literally can't just not use these companies if they don't like their hiring practices because they don't get to know the hiring practices.

Re:Sick (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 4 months ago | (#47079479)

If Facebook chooses to hire an all "white" staff, it is none of your damn business.

Facebook is a corporation, an entity created by government fiat. I don't think the government should create racists.

Re:Sick (1)

BronsCon (927697) | about 4 months ago | (#47079579)

Moreso, if a company is run by someone racist enough to hire only whites, why would you want to work for them, anyway? I mean, even if you're white, unless you're racist, why would you want to work for them? And if you're not, you really shouldn't want your labor to line their pockets.

But they share so much already (1)

MrKaos (858439) | about 4 months ago | (#47078671)

Facebook, give and give and give data away and people want them to share more. Poor widdle facebwook!

Yes, I am being sarcastic.

Is that in the US (likely) or over all? (1)

cyberspittle (519754) | about 4 months ago | (#47078691)

How much of the US work force is US citizen? Of that US citizen component in US, how much is African-American? I suspect that there are more Africans (with VISA, etc.) than African-Americans (US born). Technology is all about disruption of society. Overseas is cheap underpaid workforce where there are no labor laws (if any) that are followed (unlikely). Let's get some numbers! If companies catered to students like NFL/MLB/NBA did for college+high scholl atheletes, we would have more talented and qualified US work force. But then again, it is cheaper to import and underpay with visa over employee head. Should they complain, you can send them back at their own expense (yes it happens).

Re:Is that in the US (likely) or over all? (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 4 months ago | (#47079191)

From the 2010 US Census: [census.gov]

The Black or African-American
alone population was 38.9 million
and represented 13 percent of the
total population.

God Damn It, Zuckerberg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078765)

This is why everybody hates Jews.

99.985% normal people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078781)

0.015% big giant asshole

** (based on 6818 employees as reported in january 2014 sec filings)

Funny .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078823)

They share everyone else's information quite freely.

Amazing how they're so tight lipped with their own data.

One might think Zuckerberg is an asshole or something.

Sick of "equal opportunity" racism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078843)

I am posting as AC to protect the innocent.

I have interviewed a lot of people for software engineer, being an engineer myself. I usually give the people a problem to solve and ask a few technical questions. It is _hard_ to find talented people for software engineer. When you interview someone, you connect with people that know their stuff, share knowledge with you, and communicate well, way past the gender or color of the skin.

Heck, the only time I have cared about race is when I am instructed by my managers to try to get minorities because we don't have enough of them. I say ok, and go on operating exactly as if this was never said to me.

By the way, I am in a minority myself, and I felt like crap when they said this to me. I felt that I was hired not because I was good at what I do but some superficial bs like where I was born.

Re:Sick of "equal opportunity" racism (1)

BronsCon (927697) | about 4 months ago | (#47079625)

Hey! Any chance you can give your input on this post [slashdot.org] ? I posted in terms of "black" and "white" because that's what most racists understand, but the post really applies unilaterally.

Full disclosure: I'm asking because you appear to be qualified to give your honest viewpoint on my comment. Your qualifications? Ironically, being a minority.

Jesse Jackson is a racist, plain and simple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47078907)

He just wants something to show that FB is against African-Americans or have some fuel to add to a fire of his. Perhaps JJ needs to focus on educating and helping those people in impoverished areas to come up out of those terrible situations they grow up in and so rarely come out of than trying to see if some other group beside himself is racist.

investigate! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47079061)

I think Senator Elizabeth Warren should chair an inquiry into this matter, I really do.

Jesse Jackson? (4, Informative)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 4 months ago | (#47079103)

You had me until Jesse Jackson got involved. That guy is a crook and an extortionist. Usually he's only interested in how diverse your company is until you donate to his rainbow push coalition. Suddenly it doesn't matter if you're diverse after that.

Jesse Jackson? (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about 4 months ago | (#47079125)

Is this guy still relevant? I guess he hasn't heard, we have a black president. This guy needs to just retire because all he does is try to get people to kiss his ass.

Throw Zuck in jail (0)

El Rey (61125) | about 4 months ago | (#47079261)

We need to start holding actual people accountable. You break the law you go to jail or you pay a big fine per day until you comply, just like they do for other offenses. This selective enforcement stuff is BS.

H1-B Indians count as a minority (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47079281)

The reason is that H1-B Indians count as a minority (like African Americans), simple as that.

Re:H1-B Indians count as a minority (2)

hambone142 (2551854) | about 4 months ago | (#47079329)

The term "African American" is a joke. It refers to a geography not a race. I guess Elon Musk is "African American" because he came from South Africa and immigrated eventually to the U.S.

It was inevitable (2)

Brett Buck (811747) | about 4 months ago | (#47079325)

When a new company makes a splash, they can expect a visit from the Jesse Jacksons of the world, running their usual shakedown.

insanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47079371)

Why the #€"#€# does it matter what race or gender the employees are?
I'm pretty sure they hire the most qualified.

Google.Facebook.No highly staffed CS call centers. (3, Informative)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 4 months ago | (#47079437)

I would believe that neither company employs a substantial amount of African Americans. Why? Neither company has vast, low wage customer service call centers. Hence the reluctance to release numbers. If you don't have much experience working in customer service call centers, your first instinct is going to be to mod me down (understandably). If you do have a fair amount of experience working in low-wage CS call centers, you completely understand what I am talking about. I myself (unfortunately) do have quite a lot of experience working in customer service call centers, and have often been one of very few white people in a sea of African Americans as well as a lot women. The truth is, most large tech related companies hire some of amount of minorities and women. But when you look at the whole of the company, you quickly realize that minorities are routinely hired into marginalized positions, even when they are highly qualified sometimes even with a college degree. It's exclusive, but if you have seen it, you get what I mean.

And the NBA got an A+ for racial ... equality .?. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#47079537)

NBA Players

For the 2011-2012 season, 82 percent of the NBA’s players were people of color, decreasing by one
percentage point from last season. The percentage of African-American players in the league remained
constant from the 2010-2011 season at 78 percent. Latino players comprised three percent of all NBA
players, dropping one percentage point from last season. Both Asian players and players categorized as
other races decreased to less than one percent of all players. The percentage of white NBA players
increased to 18 percent for the 2011-2012 season. This is a one percentage point increase from the
2010-2011 NBA season, in which the lowest percentage of white NBA players was recorded since the
Racial and Gender Report Card began reporting the composition of the NBA teams.

International players comprised 17 percent of the NBA’s players during the 2011-2012 season,
remaining constant from last season. This remains the lowest percentage of international players since
the 2003-2004 season.
NBA Grade for Players:
Race: A+

Source: http://www.tidesport.org/RGRC/2012/2012_NBA_RGRC[1].pdf

Or maybe, in general, white guys just suck at basketball compared to black guys? I guess it is a general rule that there are always exceptions to general rules. I'd like to see additional emphasis on red-haired Asians in the NBA!

We need black-only firms, I guess (1)

gelfling (6534) | about 4 months ago | (#47079575)

Maxine won't be happy until we bring back separate but equal

Employer Does Not Know (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 4 months ago | (#47079583)

In all seriousness if an employer operates without prejudice they may be unaware of the race, sex or ethnic group of employees either individually or in total. Should an employer send someone around to ask Juan whether he is from Portugal or Some Spanish nation? Should he ask Juan if he is really a male or a female or transgender person? How about asking if Juan is a Jew or a Catholic? And if Juan looks black but has white grandparents and one white parent he can define himself anyway he likes as there is no official standard for what black means. In small companies the employer may know these things due to close contact with employees. But in large companies or companies that hire work at home people they may have no clue about any of these things .Isn't asking those types of questions an illegal invasion of privacy in itself? What's next? Should employers ask for proof of such questions? How about drop your pants Juan I want to make certain you are a male? You just know that some very dumb employers will find ways to screw up in reporting this stuff.
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