Facebook: 2020 diversity report shows slow progress on Black employees

  • Facebook published its annual diversity report on Wednesday.
  • The new data shows the company is still struggling to hire and retain Black employees, and workers from other underrepresented groups.
  • Just 3.9% of the company’s US workforce is Black, barely up from 3.8% in 2019.
  • The figures were released amid a national reckoning in the US over racism in society and in workplaces.

Facebook has made little headway in hiring Black employees over the past year.

On Wednesday, the social networking firm published its annual diversity report — with the results showing the company remains largely male — and struggling to hire and retain workers from underrepresented backgrounds.

Over the last 12 months, the percentage of Black Facebook employees in the US barely budged, increasing from 3.8% to 3.9%. That makes Black people significantly underrepresented at the company compared to among the broader US population, which is 13.4% Black, according to census data.

The new data comes as the US faces widespread protests over racism and police brutality, and workplaces and broader society grapple with racism and discrimination. Facebook announced a number of changes in response to the Black Lives Matter protests, including having Chief Diversity Officer Maxine Williams report directly to COO Sheryl Sandberg, and a $100 million grant and ad credit program focused on Black-owned businesses and creators.

According to the new report, men make up 63% of Facebook’s workforce globally, just down from 63.1% in 2019. In 2014, that number was 69%. They are particularly overrepresented in technical roles, comprising 75.9% in 2020 (down from 77% in 2019, and 85% in 2014).

Asian employees saw continued gains at the company, growing to 44.4% of the total US workforce, and the percentage of Hispanic workers also increased by a little over a percentage point in 12 months, from 5.2% to 6.3%. 

The majority of Black employees work in non-technical roles: Just 1.7% of technical workers at Facebook in the US in 2020 are Black, up from 1.5% in 2019, and 1% in 2014.


facebook 2020 diversity report black employees

A chart from Facebook’s 2020 Diversity Report showing how the representation of Black employees at the company has changed over time.


In a blog post accompanying the report, Williams wrote that Facebook is committing to “increase the representation of people of color in leadership positions in the US by 30%, including a 30% increase in the representation of Black people in leadership, by 2025.”

Earlier in July, the news broke that a Facebook recruiter had filed a federal complaint against the company, alleging it is biased against Black employees and job candidates.

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