It's great to see high profile companies such as Facebook openly championing diversity. It seems they are desperate to improve the diversity of their 15,000 plus staff around the globe, which is currently largely made up of white males. Diversity in the workplace is increasingly important and companies who have achieved genuine levels of diversity have reported increased productivity and profitability - Facebook see this and get how important it is. Hence their efforts to improve their own diversity.
That being said, I was disillusioned to see that Facebook had been using a 'points' based system to encourage their in-house recruiters to diversify the workforce. Under the system, a recruiter would be awarded more points for recruiting someone from a under-represented group. More points potentially means a bigger bonus for said recruiter. Yet it comes as no surprise to me that this hasn't really worked and that the workforce is no more diverse than two years ago when the scheme was introduced. This is because diversity isn't a numbers game. It cannot be boiled down to monetary incentives or points systems. Diversity is about people - it is about connecting and engaging with different groups rather than creating some sort of internal competition. The question Facebook needs to ask itself is why those under-represented groups are not attracted to working at Facebook in the first place. What is it that stops them thinking about Facebook as a potential employer? Facebook needs to question whether they are doing enough to reach out to those groups and communities, whether they are doing enough to engage with them on a human level and get them interested and excited about what they do.
One complaint Facebook has is that there simply aren't enough women or ethnic minority groups with the appropriate qualifications. For a company as high-profile as Facebook, I'm surprised that they are not doing more about this. Why not invest more in the next generation - apprenticeships, sponsorship schemes, investment into education etc. There are so many ways organisations can engage with different groups of people and start at grass roots level and generate the interest and skills required to create a more diverse workforce in an organisation like Facebook. So instead of looking inwards, Facebook needs to be much more outward looking and proactive - they cannot wait for people to come to them, they need to reach out and connect. Diversity cannot be a points system, diversity must begin with people first.
Two years ago, Facebook Inc. offered its in-house recruiters an incentive to help diversify its largely white, largely male workforce. Previously, recruiters were awarded one point for every new hire. Under the new system, they could earn 1.5 points for a so-called “diversity hire”—a black, Hispanic or female engineer—according to people familiar with the matter. More points can lead to a stronger performance review for recruiters and, potentially, a larger bonus, the people said.