- Twitter made strides toward its diversity and inclusion goals in 2019, according to a Dec. 17 update from the company. The report's findings show Twitter significantly increased the number black and Latinx individuals it employs, yet needs improvement in women leadership.
- In the U.S., 5.7% of the company’s employees are black, exceeding Twitter’s goal for the year. Women represent 42% of its overall workforce, falling short of a 43% goal, and Latinx representation in the U.S. is at 4.7%, just under a projected 5%. Black and Latinx representation in senior leadership roles has increased as the number of women in leadership decreased from last quarter.
- To advance its goals, Twitter has “doubled down” on attending industry conferences popular with talent from diverse communities, according to a blog post by Dalana Brand, vice president of people experience and head of inclusion and diversity. And to focus on retention across all three groups, the company launched an anonymous internal inclusion survey.
Tech companies in Silicon Valley — which have traditionally struggled with diversity and inclusion — are becoming more transparent in the quest to build workforces that reflect America's increasingly diverse demographics.
Experts have recommended that employers in the field address several problem areas.
“Implementing broader recruiting strategies, specific and measurable performance evaluation criteria, and transparent procedures for assigning compensation will go a long way toward reducing gender inequality in tech,” Alison Wynn, a research associate at the Stanford VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab, suggested in a recent Harvard Business Review article.
Additionally, women, Latinx and black populations historically have been underrepresented in leadership positions. Twitter’s Brand made this clear in her blog post; while hiring is a critical driver of progress, she said, the company must now extend its focus to senior roles. Other employers have reached the same conclusion, turning their focus to the “broken rung” to management rather than the glass ceiling.
According to the report, 56.9% of employees in leadership roles at Twitter are white and 16.7% Asian. There’s been progress in black leadership with an increase from 3.5% in December 2017 to 5.3% as of November 2019. For the same time period, Latinx leadership increased from 2.6% to 3.5%.
The percentage of women in senior leadership roles at Twitter is not steadily increasing. Approximately 32.5% of women held senior leadership roles at the company in December 2017. A year later, there was an increase to 35.8%. As of November, 34.9% of leaders are women.
Twitter’s new programs — including the inclusion survey — will aim to address these gaps, a spokesperson told HR Dive.
“We’re confident these are the right investments to accelerate progress, but they’ll take time to be reflected in the numbers. In 2020 we’ll unveil a new vision for the next five years at Twitter to increase representation of women, Black and Latinx Tweeps across all levels, roles and office locations.”