I recently read an article from The Root discussing the failures of Facebook workplace culture for black employees. According to the article, Mark Luckie, a former Facebook employees released a 2,500 word essay describing his time at the company, with much of it being highly critical of the culture.
According to Luckie;
Facebook’s disenfranchisement of black people on the platform mirrors the marginalization of its black employees. In my time at the company, I’ve heard far too many stories from black employees of a colleague or manager calling them “hostile” or “aggressive” for simply sharing their thoughts in a manner not dissimilar from their nonblack team members. A few black employees have reported being specifically dissuaded by their managers from becoming active in the [internal] Black@ group or doing “Black stuff,” even if it happens outside of work hours. Too many black employees can recount stories of being aggressively accosted by campus security beyond what was necessary.
Facebook responded by investing $1 million into CodePath.org ,”a nonprofit that provides computer science education to female and minority students at universities around the country,” according to CNBC.
“Since its launch three years ago, CodePath.org has helped approximately 1,700 students across 30 “high diversity” universities, such as Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Jackson State University.” The investment from Facebook will help the organization “expand from serving 400 students to over 1,000 each semester.”
Regardless of what you think, this cannot be seen as a bad thing. Helping to support the pipeline issue is something that has repeatedly been thrown against Facebook, and any support to rectify the situation is a good one. However, after learning of the investment, Luckie brought up the issue of culture and how Facebook should look to improve on it as they fix its pipeline problem.
A fair point from Luckie. What I will say is that, publicly, Facebook is taking the right steps. If next year, Facebook develops an initiative to improve internal culture then the company is moving in the right direction. I understand people want solutions fast, but for a company worth over $100 billion, these things take time, and over the past 2 years it appears that Facebook is trying to turn the ship around.