Despite its position as one of the largest tech companies in the world, Facebook has faced scandal after scandal in recent years—largely thanks to reports of data breaches and the prevalence of fake news stories on the site. And in an internal memo just released to the public, one former black employee revealed that the company also has a major diversity problem—and it affects both black users and black employees.
Today, November 27th, Mark S. Luckie, a former Strategic Partner Manager for Influencers, posted a memo to Facebook, which he said he wrote and circulated among his colleagues on November 8th before he left the company.
He went on to say that he had seen a lack of “internal and external representation of black people” while working at Facebook, even though research shows that black users are one of the most engaged groups on the social site. Luckie noted that a number of black people using Facebook to create safe spaces have even had non-black users report their content as hate speech.
Luckie posited that the lack of black representation among the company’s staff contributes to this outcome. He noted that only 4% of the company’s workforce is black, and he described a company culture of racial discrimination in which employees are discouraged from doing “Black stuff” and called “hostile” for voicing their opinions.
The former employee recommended that Facebook take measures to improve its relations with the black community, including establishing focus groups, hiring more diverse talent, and improving cultural competency training for people reviewing content.
As Luckie pointed out, inclusion is crucial in all industries—and is the first step toward meaningful change. We hope Facebook takes his suggestions to heart.