George Floyd, an unarmed black man, focused heavily on race, diversity and inclusion due to police assassination Making its chief diversity officer, Maxine Williams, report directly to COO Sheryl Sandberg, Sandberg wrote in a memorandum to Facebook today. Earlier, Williams reported to VP Human Resources Janelle Gayle.
“We are expanding Maxine’s role and putting diversity and inclusiveness at the heart of our ongoing management team’s discussions and processes,” Sandberg wrote in the memo.
This is certainly a move for Williams in the chain of command, but it falls short of delivering his report directly to CEO Mark Zuckerberg. For years advocates of diversity have been calling on the heads of diversity to report directly to the CEO. However, many companies have not yet done so. More often, tech companies have a head of diversity reports in their HR heads.
As we have previously noted, the heads of diversity and inclusion are often not in a position where they are established to affect real change. Ellen Pao, co-founder and CEO of the project, told me last June, “They are not empowered and have no team or authority and no metrics that can push people towards them and hold people accountable. He is in this strange role where it is facing a lot. “
Beyond bringing Williams into a position where she would be in a better seat than expected, Facebook says it would encourage employees to engage in a learning day on Juneteenth, a day that led to slavery in the United States Reminds me of termination. In particular, it acknowledges the day in which Slaves in Galveston, Texas came to know of their independence on June 19, 1865.
A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to TipsClear, “It will remind Juneth, the end of slavery in America with the day of Facebook learning.” “We are canceling all meetings and engaging in conversations about the history, experiences and issues that still face Black Americans. We all have a responsibility to help give a voice to less populous communities around the world Our goal is to learn more so that we can do more. “
This comes days after Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey declared Junethean a company-wide holiday. Unlike Twitter and Square, Facebook employees will not have Juneteh as an official holiday, but will instead be encouraged to use it as a learning day and participate in educational sessions.
Earlier this month, Facebook employees held a virtual walkout to protest the company’s inaction around the post by President Donald Trump inciting violence.
Amit protested in Floyd’s police killing in Minneapolis, with Trump posting on both Twitter and Facebook that, “When the robbery begins, the shooting begins.” Twitter’s response prompted a notice on his tweet, stating that it violated Twitter’s rules about glorifying violence. However, Facebook adopted a different approach. The response was to do nothing.
Zuckerberg pointed out that the company’s policy “allows discussion around the state use of force, although I think the situation today raises important questions about the potential limitations of that discussion.” Additionally, Zuckerberg said, “We think people need to know if the government is planning to deploy force.”
Facebook’s record in the race has not been very good over the years. But it has not been said that no progress has been made. Last June, Williams described how Facebook has increased the number of black women by 10x and 10 times the number of black men over the past five years.
“There has been a lot of change,” Williams told me at the time. “Is that as much as we want? No, and I definitely think we have this issue to consider when we started focusing very deliberately on D&I. The company has already been nine. That thousands of people were working here. The biggest way is to start later, it is difficult. “
Currently, according to its Most Diversity Report, Facebook is just 3.8% black, 5.2 in Latin American, and 3.1% in two or more races.
This story has been updated with a slightly revised comment from Facebook.