It’s one thing to talk about diversity; it’s something entirely different to change policy to make the core culture of a business embrace inclusion. Facebook has been criticized for favoring white males as employees and board members. However, they have clearly recognized the problem and are now making diversity a priority. The company has just added to last year’s initiative to increase diversity in hiring and retention to include a new policy requiring that 33 percent of its law firm teams include women and ethnic minorities, according to the New York Times. For this reason, we are applauding Facebook as our Revolutionist of the Week.
As I discuss in my book From Bully to Bull’s-Eye: Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire, I believe that systemic change is the only way to tackle the problem of increasing diversity. No amount of awareness seminars or momentary hiring spurts will change a corporate culture. However, by restructuring the company’s hiring and retention policies from the ground up, lasting change can be implemented.
It’s true that Facebook has a way to go in this regard—as of June 2016 new senior leadership hires improved slightly: women from 27 to 29 percent; African-Americans from 3 to 9 percent; and Latinos from 3 to 5 percent. To move this along further, Facebook is focusing on recruiting talent as well as creating programs to help students at all levels who are interested in coding and engineering.
Since this may take some time, I applaud the fact that Facebook is pushing ahead by applying this to legal counsel, since law firms are willing to go out of their way to please clients, especially major clients. By using this opportunity to promote truly inclusive workplaces, Facebook joins other enlightened corporations such as MetLife and HP in building psychologically healthy, fair and inclusive workplaces.
Photo credit: BIGSTOCK