- Pinterest's engineers are more diverse than five years ago, but there's a lag in leadership diversity, according to its latest diversity report released to the public Jan. 16. The hiring rate for full-time women engineers is at 27%, exceeding a 25% goal. For underrepresented engineers (defined by the company as Native American and Pacific Islander, Latinx, and Black employees), the hiring rate is at 9%, a point higher than the set goal of 8%. Pinterest surpassed its goal of a 12% hiring rate for underrepresented employees across the company (business and product), the hiring rate is now at 14%.
- Headquartered in San Francisco, Pinterest said it was one of the first tech companies to set annual public hiring goals in 2015. The percentage of women engineers overall is now 25%, up from 19% five years ago. Underrepresented employees now make up 10% of overall staff and 7% of engineers. But the company will "continue to focus on overall representation of underrepresented talent," Jo Dennis, chief human resources officer, said in her blog post.
- The tech company's leaders are 75% male and 64% white; the percentages of black and Latinx leaders are 1% and 2%, respectively. There are no Native American leaders. Dennis wrote that Pinterest has committed to a "laser focus"on specific efforts to diversify leadership, ensuring business leader ownership of inclusion and diversity outcomes, and placing an emphasis on retention.
Both outside research and the release of diversity and inclusion employee data by the country's largest tech companies have shown that women and professionals of color are much less likely to hold leadership positions in the field.
Twitter's latest report on diversity and inclusion released in December 2019 shows an increase in the percentage of Black and Latinx representation in senior leadership roles from the previous quarter, but the number of women in leadership decreased. While hiring is a critical driver of progress, the company must now extend its focus to senior roles, Dalana Brand, vice president of people experience and head of inclusion and diversity, said in her blog post.
The Women in the Workplace 2019 report by LeanIn.org and McKinsey said that for every 100 men promoted and hired to manager, only 72 women are promoted and hired. Researchers suggested that action must be taken early on in the pipeline, which includes requiring diverse slates for hiring and promotions, setting a goal for getting more women into first-level management, and requiring evaluators receive unconscious bias training.
A 2018 study published in Social Studies of Science Journal suggests that what happens during the recruitment process is crucial as well. Authors of "Puncturing the pipeline: Do technology companies alienate women in recruiting sessions?" studied recruiting sessions hosted by technology companies. "Gender-imbalanced presenter roles, geek culture references, overt use of gender stereotypes, and other gendered speech and actions," contribute to lessening "the interest of women at the point of recruitment into technology careers," according to the researchers.
The Brookings Institute 2018 report noted that progress of racial and ethnic representation will "require the tech sector to change its hiring and promotion practices to bring about a more equitable distributions of power within companies — power that can change hiring outcomes." Brookings researchers said in the report that companies will "benefit themselves as well as advance the economy inclusively, all while benefiting employees of all ethnicities and genders."
In fact, in analyzing data for its annual 100 Best Workplaces for Diversity list released in December 2019, Great Place to Work found that diverse companies fare better during recessions. "We found that key metrics related to equity and inclusion not only drive stronger company innovation, but also predict whether companies will thrive or stumble during a recession," Michael C. Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work, said in a statement. During the Great Recession, "the S&P 500 suffered a 35.5 percent decline in stock performance"; however, "companies whose key employee groups had very positive experiences posted a remarkable 14.4 percent gain," according to the company.