Facebook Faces ‘Challenges’ in Recruiting Black and Hispanic Execs

Minorities are slowly but increasingly getting their foot in the door at Facebook, but the social network still faces “challenges” in recruiting Black and Hispanic employees for its top roles, the company said on Thursday.

Black employees account for only 1 percent of technical roles at Facebook, and 2 percent of leadership positions, with no year-over-year growth, according to the company’s fifth annual diversity report. Hispanic employees hold 3 percent of technical roles, and dropped from 4 percent to 3 percent year-over-year when it comes to leadership positions.

The dearth of minority women in leadership is even more stark, with black women holding only 6 of the 769 senior manager and executive positions, or less than 1 percent, USA Today reported. Black Americans make up 13.4 percent of the U.S. population, according to Census data.

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“We continue to have challenges recruiting black and Hispanic employees in technical roles and senior leadership,” said Maxine Williams, Facebook’s chief diversity officer, in the company’s report.

The social network is making strides in several areas, though, with women accounting for 36 percent of Facebook’s workforce — a 5 percent jump since 2014. Black and Hispanic workers inched upward from 2 percent to 4 percent, and 4 percent to 5 percent, respectively. Facebook has also tripled its number of black female employees since 2016.

To continue this growth, Williams said Facebook would be doubling down on its efforts to support programs that help teach coding to minorities in high school and college.

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“The issue starts with early access,” Gretchen LeGrand, executive director of Code In The Schools, a Baltimore-based organization aiming to spread computer science education, told TheWrap. “If you come from a low-income, urban area, you are less likely to have been able to afford to go to a fancy private college with the best computer science program.”

Williams credited Facebook’s recruitment efforts and partnerships with several organizations, like the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, for its increase in minority employees. But to further bolster its hiring of black and Hispanic workers, LeGrand suggested tech giants adopt a blind hiring process, which removes the opportunity for bias to creep into the hiring process.

Facebook — along with other Silicon Valley stalwarts — have been called out in the past for a lack of diversity. Jesse Jackson pressed CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook’s annual shareholder meeting in May on the lack of minorities in leadership roles.

Also Read: Trump Hotel Promos Accidentally Blocked by Facebook’s New Political Ad Rules

“The top 15 employees are white, and that does not represent a random — it represents some lack of intentionality to be inclusive,” said Jackson.

Zuckerberg acknowledged Jackson, before handing off to COO Sheryl Sandberg, who said the company was adopting the “diverse slate approach” when finding board members, requiring Facebook to consider candidates from “underrepresented backgrounds.”

“We agree with you that we need more diversity, it’s something we’re very committed to,” Sandberg told Jackson. “This is really codifying and making a public commitment to something we’re already doing.”

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Minorities are slowly but increasingly getting their foot in the door at Facebook, but the social network still faces “challenges” in recruiting Black and Hispanic employees for its top roles, the company said on Thursday.

Black employees account for only 1 percent of technical roles at Facebook, and 2 percent of leadership positions, with no year-over-year growth, according to the company’s fifth annual diversity report. Hispanic employees hold 3 percent of technical roles, and dropped from 4 percent to 3 percent year-over-year when it comes to leadership positions.

The dearth of minority women in leadership is even more stark, with black women holding only 6 of the 769 senior manager and executive positions, or less than 1 percent, USA Today reported. Black Americans make up 13.4 percent of the U.S. population, according to Census data.

“We continue to have challenges recruiting black and Hispanic employees in technical roles and senior leadership,” said Maxine Williams, Facebook’s chief diversity officer, in the company’s report.

The social network is making strides in several areas, though, with women accounting for 36 percent of Facebook’s workforce — a 5 percent jump since 2014. Black and Hispanic workers inched upward from 2 percent to 4 percent, and 4 percent to 5 percent, respectively. Facebook has also tripled its number of black female employees since 2016.

To continue this growth, Williams said Facebook would be doubling down on its efforts to support programs that help teach coding to minorities in high school and college.

“The issue starts with early access,” Gretchen LeGrand, executive director of Code In The Schools, a Baltimore-based organization aiming to spread computer science education, told TheWrap. “If you come from a low-income, urban area, you are less likely to have been able to afford to go to a fancy private college with the best computer science program.”

Williams credited Facebook’s recruitment efforts and partnerships with several organizations, like the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, for its increase in minority employees. But to further bolster its hiring of black and Hispanic workers, LeGrand suggested tech giants adopt a blind hiring process, which removes the opportunity for bias to creep into the hiring process.

Facebook — along with other Silicon Valley stalwarts — have been called out in the past for a lack of diversity. Jesse Jackson pressed CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook’s annual shareholder meeting in May on the lack of minorities in leadership roles.

“The top 15 employees are white, and that does not represent a random — it represents some lack of intentionality to be inclusive,” said Jackson.

Zuckerberg acknowledged Jackson, before handing off to COO Sheryl Sandberg, who said the company was adopting the “diverse slate approach” when finding board members, requiring Facebook to consider candidates from “underrepresented backgrounds.”

“We agree with you that we need more diversity, it’s something we’re very committed to,” Sandberg told Jackson. “This is really codifying and making a public commitment to something we’re already doing.”

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Univision CEO Signals More Layoffs, Upheaval to Come

Univision CEO Randy Falco, who announced plans to retire by year’s end, has signaled more upheaval and layoffs are in the media company’s future.

“As part of our continuing efforts, we have made the very difficult decision to reduce personnel across the company,” Falco wrote in a memo to staff obtained by TheWrap. “We know that disruption is required to transform this business into a company that will not only exist but continue to thrive in the future.”

In recent weeks, the company has lost CFO Francisco Lopez-Balboa and Gizmodo Media Group CEO Raju Narisetti.

“The changes needed are not going to be easy,” he continued in the memo, sent last week. “Our multi-year transformation process includes a rigorous evaluation of operational costs, core business processes and organizational structure to accelerate [Univision’s] evolution toward a simplified, more agile, digitally enabled company.”

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Representatives for Univision declined to comment for this story.

Earlier this month, Univision put the kibosh on a long-awaited IPO and laid off more than 150 employees across both the Spanish-language TV network and Gizmodo Media Group it acquired last year. And in March the company laid off 20 employees as it announced plans to restructure the business amid a steady erosion in ratings on the network.

As part of Univision’s wholesale company evaluation, an audit of efficiencies is being conducted by Boston Consulting Group.

Executives hope the review will position the to succeed in an era that rewards digital success and fervently loyal, but exceedingly fragmented TV audiences for both Univision and Fusion, an English-language joint venture that it has wholly owned since 2016.

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Like many of its legacy media cohorts, Univision has come face-to-face with an evolving, more digitally-focused landscape, forcing the company to make tough decisions in reevaluating how to position itself to survive the future.

But there’s plenty of uncertainty among rank-and-file employees as to what the company will actually look like, and whose jobs could be on the chopping block.

“My impression has been that Univision is not handling this situation well and people are freaked out,” an editor at Gizmodo Media Group, who declined to be named, told TheWrap. “But as of yet there have not been any cuts to rank-and-file GMG editorial staff. In fact, there doesn’t appear to be a hiring freeze.”

Illustrating the stark differences in Univision’s TV and digital properties, the company reported that core advertising revenue for TV was down 18.4 percent in the most-recent fourth quarter, while digital core advertising revenue was up 2.8 percent.

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Primetime ratings on the main network have plummeted in recent years, with longtime rival Telemundo surpassing the once-dominant Univision in the key 18-49-year-old demographic.

During the 2010-11 TV season, Univision averaged 2.2 million viewers in the key demo,  while Telemundo managed just 709,000. In the most recent 2016-17 TV season, Univision averaged just 843,000 viewers from Monday to Friday in the same 18-49 demo. Telemundo finished with 861,000 per night.

That’s a whopping 62 percent decline for Univision since 2010, with the network consistently falling since 2012-13.

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Despite the drop in ratings and the shuffling happening inside the company, Univision has continued to perform financially. Revenue at Univision declined less than 1 percent in 2017 to $3.02 billion from $3.04 billion in 2016.

And the new digital division is emerging as a bright spot, as well as a platform to reach a more diverse group of young consumers — a necessity as its traditional Spanish-speaking audience has evolved.

All but one of Gizmodo’s sites recently experienced double-digit growth in visitors month-to-month. The only outlier, Lifehacker, missed the mark only because it had just experienced back-to-back months of all-time visits.

“Without losing sight of our core mission to inform, empower and entertain our audiences, we know that disruption is required to transform this business into a company that will not only exist but continue to thrive in the future,” Falco wrote in his staff memo.

Tony Maglio and Jon Levine contributed to this reporting.

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Univision CEO Randy Falco, who announced plans to retire by year’s end, has signaled more upheaval and layoffs are in the media company’s future.

“As part of our continuing efforts, we have made the very difficult decision to reduce personnel across the company,” Falco wrote in a memo to staff obtained by TheWrap. “We know that disruption is required to transform this business into a company that will not only exist but continue to thrive in the future.”

In recent weeks, the company has lost CFO Francisco Lopez-Balboa and Gizmodo Media Group CEO Raju Narisetti.

“The changes needed are not going to be easy,” he continued in the memo, sent last week. “Our multi-year transformation process includes a rigorous evaluation of operational costs, core business processes and organizational structure to accelerate [Univision’s] evolution toward a simplified, more agile, digitally enabled company.”

Representatives for Univision declined to comment for this story.

Earlier this month, Univision put the kibosh on a long-awaited IPO and laid off more than 150 employees across both the Spanish-language TV network and Gizmodo Media Group it acquired last year. And in March the company laid off 20 employees as it announced plans to restructure the business amid a steady erosion in ratings on the network.

As part of Univision’s wholesale company evaluation, an audit of efficiencies is being conducted by Boston Consulting Group.

Executives hope the review will position the to succeed in an era that rewards digital success and fervently loyal, but exceedingly fragmented TV audiences for both Univision and Fusion, an English-language joint venture that it has wholly owned since 2016.

Like many of its legacy media cohorts, Univision has come face-to-face with an evolving, more digitally-focused landscape, forcing the company to make tough decisions in reevaluating how to position itself to survive the future.

But there’s plenty of uncertainty among rank-and-file employees as to what the company will actually look like, and whose jobs could be on the chopping block.

“My impression has been that Univision is not handling this situation well and people are freaked out,” an editor at Gizmodo Media Group, who declined to be named, told TheWrap. “But as of yet there have not been any cuts to rank-and-file GMG editorial staff. In fact, there doesn’t appear to be a hiring freeze.”

Illustrating the stark differences in Univision’s TV and digital properties, the company reported that core advertising revenue for TV was down 18.4 percent in the most-recent fourth quarter, while digital core advertising revenue was up 2.8 percent.

Primetime ratings on the main network have plummeted in recent years, with longtime rival Telemundo surpassing the once-dominant Univision in the key 18-49-year-old demographic.

During the 2010-11 TV season, Univision averaged 2.2 million viewers in the key demo,  while Telemundo managed just 709,000. In the most recent 2016-17 TV season, Univision averaged just 843,000 viewers from Monday to Friday in the same 18-49 demo. Telemundo finished with 861,000 per night.

That’s a whopping 62 percent decline for Univision since 2010, with the network consistently falling since 2012-13.

Despite the drop in ratings and the shuffling happening inside the company, Univision has continued to perform financially. Revenue at Univision declined less than 1 percent in 2017 to $3.02 billion from $3.04 billion in 2016.

And the new digital division is emerging as a bright spot, as well as a platform to reach a more diverse group of young consumers — a necessity as its traditional Spanish-speaking audience has evolved.

All but one of Gizmodo’s sites recently experienced double-digit growth in visitors month-to-month. The only outlier, Lifehacker, missed the mark only because it had just experienced back-to-back months of all-time visits.

“Without losing sight of our core mission to inform, empower and entertain our audiences, we know that disruption is required to transform this business into a company that will not only exist but continue to thrive in the future,” Falco wrote in his staff memo.

Tony Maglio and Jon Levine contributed to this reporting.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ratings: Univision Awards Show 'Premio Lo Nuestro' Runs Runner-Up to NBC's Olympics

Univision, Telemundo and UniMas Lagged in LGBT Characters This Year, GLAAD Study Finds

NBCU Boss: Telemundo Will 'Catch up to Univision' Revenue Soon

Spanish-Language Broadcaster Azteca America Sold To Philip Falcone-Led HC2

Diversified conglomerate HC2 Holdings, whose portfolio of companies includes steel, biotech and natural gas, is stepping up its TV presence by acquiring Spanish-language broadcaster Azteca America.
HC2 also reached a related deal with Northstar Media to take over Azteca’s 19 local TV stations in markets including Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, pending the approval of the FCC. The company already controlled a portfolio of mostly low-power stations in the U.S.
Financial terms of…

Diversified conglomerate HC2 Holdings, whose portfolio of companies includes steel, biotech and natural gas, is stepping up its TV presence by acquiring Spanish-language broadcaster Azteca America. HC2 also reached a related deal with Northstar Media to take over Azteca’s 19 local TV stations in markets including Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, pending the approval of the FCC. The company already controlled a portfolio of mostly low-power stations in the U.S. Financial terms of…

Randy Falco Re-Ups As Univision President And CEO Through 2020

Randy Falco, the former longtime NBC exec who has spent this decade leading Univision Communications, has re-upped as the Hispanic media company’s president and CEO through January 2020.
“Randy has been the architect of UCI’s evolution since 2011, guiding the Company’s tremendous expansion, steadily improving Univision’s financial performance and significantly improving the balance sheet by paying down debt,” commented Haim Saban, chairman of Univision’s board. “With…

Randy Falco, the former longtime NBC exec who has spent this decade leading Univision Communications, has re-upped as the Hispanic media company’s president and CEO through January 2020. "Randy has been the architect of UCI's evolution since 2011, guiding the Company's tremendous expansion, steadily improving Univision's financial performance and significantly improving the balance sheet by paying down debt," commented Haim Saban, chairman of Univision’s board. "With…