Twitter publishes targets for a 'more diverse' workforce in 2016

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Twitter has outlined its ambitions to boost the proportion of women and underrepresented minorities in its workforce, publishing targets for “a more diverse Twitter” in 2016.

The social network is aiming to increase the percentage of women on its payroll to 35% that year, as well as ensuring that 16% of its tech roles and 25% of its leadership roles are filled by women.

Those targets are global, but in the US specifically, Twitter is also aiming to increase the percentage of its staff who are “underrepresented minorities” to 11% in 2016, with 9% of tech roles and 6% of leadership roles filled by people in this group.

“We want the makeup of our company to reflect the vast range of people who use Twitter. Doing so will help us build a product to better serve people around the world,” wrote the company’s vice president of diversity and inclusion, Janet Van Huysse, in a blog post announcing the goals.

She stressed that Twitter is going beyond company-wide hiring goals for new employees and setting targets for its overall workforce. “We’re holding ourselves accountable to these measurable goals, as should you,” she wrote.

Twitter's diversity data in 2015.
Twitter’s diversity data in 2015.

The targets are relatively modest: in July 2014, Twitter published its first diversity report, revealing that 30% of its staff were women, including 10% of tech roles and 21% of leadership roles.

The report also revealed that 59% of Twitter’s US employees were white, 29% Asian, and 12% from other ethnic backgrounds - with just 49 of its 2,910 American workforce African American.

72% of Twitter’s leadership roles were held by people of white ethnicity, with a further 24% Asian, and just 4% by people with other ethnicities.

Twitter has made progress on one of the two fronts: a year on from its first diversity report, the company says 34% of its staff are now women, including 13% of tech roles and 22% of leadership roles.

However, its percentage of white employees has remained at 59%, while the percentage of Asian ethnicity has increased to 31%, leaving 10% from other ethnic backgrounds.

72% of leadership roles at Twitter are held by white staff and 28% by Asian staff, with no representation at this level from other ethnicities.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Stuart Dredge, for theguardian.com on Monday 31st August 2015 10.08 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010