Twitter wants to hire more women, but only 1 per cent more in the next year

Twitter Canada selfieTwitterWomen take selfies at a Twitter Canada party.

Twitter trumpeted its commitment to a diverse workforce in a report on Friday. But the company’s new goal for gender diversity doesn’t raise the bar very high.

In fact, Twitter could satisfy its 2016 gender diversity goal today if it hired just 41 women and kept its headcount the same. That’s because it set its targets for increasing women at the company by one per cent.

In a blog post, Twitter’s updated diversity numbers shows the company has made progress in 2015 with hiring women and hispanics since its first report in 2014 (though African-American representation remained unchanged at 2 per cent of the overall workforce).

Workforce diversity has become a big issue at Silicon Valley’s tech companies, which have been criticised for staff and management that aren’t representative of the broader population.

Of Twitter’s approximate 4,100 employees, 34 per cent are women — up four per cent from this time last year.

Twitter’s proved that it can make big gains in diversity, which is what makes Twitter’s diversity goals for 2016 a disappointment.

A Twitter spokesman said that goals are for the end of 2016, so the company has a total of 14 months between now and then to increase the women in the company by one per cent. Even at 35 per cent, Twitter will still fall short of what company’s like LinkedIn and Pinterest have now although it’s ahead of Facebook. But if Twitter increases its gender diversity by 1 per cent it’s still better than nothing. And by making their goals public, Twitter is taking a step in the right direction and holding itself accountable.

Here’s Twitters goals for 2016, compared to where the company is today:

  • Increase women overall to 35% (currently 34%, so a 1% increase)
  • Increase women in tech roles to 16% (currently 13%, so a 3% increase)
  • Increase women in leadership roles to 25% (currently 22%, so a 3% increase)
  • Increase underrepresented minorities overall to 11%* (currently approximately 10%, so an approximate increase of 1%)
  • Increase underrepresented minorities in tech roles to 9%*(currently approximately 7%, so an approximate increase of 2%)
  • Increase underrepresented minorities in leadership roles to 6%* (currently at zero, so 6%)

This chart shows the full picture of Twitter’s diversity:

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