Creative social media site Pinterest has announced plans to diversify its workforce by publishing clear targets. Founder Evan Sharp set out the company’s goals in a blog post, stating the need to increase diversity in technology start-ups.
He said: “We’ve made some modest progress over the past year, with our number of female employees growing from 40% to 42%, engineering interns increasing from 32% to 36% female, and women engineers hired out of school increasing from 28% to 33%.”
He admitted that Pinterest had only seen “modest change” over the past year, but said that the reason it’s so hard to get numbers to change in the industry is that companies haven’t stated specific goals. With a formal statement of the company’s diversity goals, Sharp believes that they are “holding ourselves accountable to make meaningful changes to how we approach diversity at Pinterest.”
The goals include increasing hiring rates for full-time engineering roles to 30% female and 8% underrepresented ethnic backgrounds, and implementing a Rooney Rule-type requirement where at least one person from an underrepresented background and one female candidate is interviewed for every open leadership position. They also plan to have every employee participate in training to prevent unconscious bias and support the creation of a training and mentorship program to maximize the impact of Black software engineers and students, led by one of our engineers.
Diversity goals are becoming more prominent in made led industries such as tech: in 2014, Google, Apple and Facebook released formal diversity reports about the internal makeup of their workforces.
Pinterest also plan to launch Inclusion Labs, a new initiative in partnership with consultancy firm Paradigm. Paradigm have been working with Pinterest for seven months on unconscious bias training, data collection, diversity recruitment and company culture. Inclusion Labs will be the continuation of these efforts:
“We’re interested in designing and testing ideas that have potential to impact the tech industry at large,” wrote Emerson in a Medium post on Thursday.
“Pinterest shares our passion for impact, and has expressed to us their belief that by cultivating a more diverse and inclusive tech community, every company within that community will be better off.”