"We're publicly committing to increasing hiring rates for full-time engineering roles to 30% female and 8% ethnically and/or racially diverse by the end of 2016. For all roles outside of engineering, we're committing to increasing hiring rates to 12% ethnically and/or racially diverse by the end of 2016. We're also committing to implementing a Rooney Rule-like requirement to ensure at least one minority and one female candidate to be considered at the interview stage for every open leadership position."
They plan to do this by expanding their recruiting efforts with a steered focus on women and different ethnicities. What sparked this initiative was a blog post by female Pinterest engineer, Tracy Chou. The post surfaced the disparities of women in tech careers.
Calling out tech companies for not, "having honest conversations about the issue," Tracy challenged the numbers of different tech companies: What is the real number of women employed at these companies? She even dove deeper into the issue, identifying where the real problem may lie. It may not just be tech companies not hiring women, it may be the lack of women applying.
"Not enough girls are taking math and science classes in elementary school. Even fewer are enrolled in computer science classes in high school. By college, women constitute less than 12% of graduating CS majors."Looking at the actual numbers of Pinterest, Tracy states (at the time of the published article) Pinterest has, "11 women out of 89 engineers, putting us at 12% female in engineering — the same percentage as coming out of undergraduate CS programs. Our inaugural intern class had 8 women out of 28 engineering interns, which is 29%."
Further elaborating on her discovery, Tracy stated, "Many people ask me if it's easier because we're Pinterest. It's not, really. We have to be thoughtful about sourcing candidates and building the right culture, and we invest in deliberate efforts to connect with women in the community. We're still learning and growing, and we can get better about measuring and understanding our funnels as well. But we're eager to open the conversation."
Pinterest has been very open about this initiative and commits to holding themselves accountable to results. Pinterest isn't the only organization addressing this issue. Jewelbots, a STEM-education focused wearable, also aims to encourage young girls to take a liking to tech-focused studies.
What do you think – is Pinterest's initiative a huge step to equality in the workplace, or do we still have a long way to go?