Silicon Valley tech giants are currently pushing for more diversity and equality across different cadres within the company. Facebook is definitely one of them and its diversity efforts have been called into question by the release of a fresh report. The social networking giant may have a gender bias problem within the company, as disclosed by an internal study disclosed by the Wall Street Journal.
Citing an initial analysis conducted by a former Facebook employee, the publication reports that the Female Facebook engineers were more prone to code rejection than their male counterparts. It was further revealed that female coders received 35 percent more code rejections than male engineers. It suggested that 17 percent of females are appointed to technical roles and they have to handle heavy scrutiny towards their work.
Plus, it was also found that female engineers had to wait for 3.9 percent longer time to get their code accepted — while also receiving at least 8.2 percent more questions and comments about their submission than men. This anonymous ex-employee didn’t shed light on the methodology of the analysis, not could WSJ independently confirm the results. But, it did spark an internal analysis by social media giant, Facebook itself.
Facebook’s head of infrastructure Jay Parikh was stunned by this revelation and called for an internal investigation to scour out the potential issues for this problem. His analysis report suggested that the code rejection numbers were such not because of the gender but rank held by the female engineers. This means Facebook has to keep a closer check on the code submissions by female engineers because of the lack of the said gender at high-ranking engineering roles.
Talking about these discredited allegations in an official statement, a Facebook spokesperson said,
As we have explained, The Wall Street Journal is relying on analysis that is incomplete and inaccurate — performed by a former Facebook engineer with an incomplete data set. Any meaningful discrepancy based on the complete data is clearly attributable not to gender but to seniority of the employee.
However, the social networking giant’s analysis could also suggest that female engineers might not be rising in their engineering role as fast as their male counterparts — who joined Facebook in the same timeframe, in the same role. It could also mean that the female engineers are departing the company more often as compared to male engineers. But, none of these numbers, as well as a breakdown of the engineering hierarchy — which is made up of eight levels — is reported in the diversity report.
While CEO Mark Zuckerberg is preaching the creation of an unbiased and connected ‘social infrastructure‘ through the platform, the Silicon Valley needs to whitewash their attitude towards females. This is one of the prominent issues within the largest startup hub of the world and tech giants are now trying to break this bubble. YouTube is currently said to have the richest and more diverse teams, where 50 percent of the workforce is made up of women employees.