This quarterly report highlights areas where we’re making progress in building a more diverse and inclusive Twitter, and where more focus is needed:
We’ve made progress increasing representation of women, black, and Latinx talent. This work is always ongoing and as we increase I&D investments we will be particularly focused on retention.
Our approach to recruiting diverse technical talent is showing early signs of impact. Moving forward, we’ll double down on these programs and extend them to other parts of the business.
Diversity in our leadership ranks remains a gap, and while that gap is getting smaller, it’s critical to make progress here. We’re implementing new initiatives focused on senior roles and expect to have more to report at year’s end.
We presented this report to our Board on September 12, 2019, and because we’re committed to working in the open, we’re sharing it with you here.
In 2017, we set two-year diversity targets for women, black, and Latinx representation at Twitter.
Here’s how we’re doing:
We’ve increased representation of women, black, and Latinx Tweeps, having already met our two-year goal for black representation. We will continue to invest in recruitment programs and increase our focus on retention across all three groups.
At the macro level we’re trending in the right direction, increasing Latinx and black leadership representation. Since our May report, we’ve seen decreases in representation of women and black leaders, driven primarily by attrition. This is an important focus area for us and we will formalize targets for diverse representation in leadership and technical roles (below) in 2020.
We’ve slightly increased representation of women, black, and Latinx employees in technical roles, driven by increased diversity recruitment efforts.
Recently, we also launched a hiring tour to bring even more diverse talent into technical roles. We look forward to sharing the results in Q4.
Hiring is a critical driver of our progress. In the most recent quarter, our hiring of women slowed slightly, while it increased among black and Latinx employees.
New hire results below are expressed as a percentage of total new hires between August 2018 and August 2019.
Attrition data tells us how we’re doing retaining employees, including diverse talent. Below are the attrition rates for women, black, and Latinx talent, which are similar or below the company-wide attrition rate. While a good sign, we will continue to monitor and focus on retention.
An updated snapshot of race and ethnicity in the US is below:
In our May I&D report, we provided an overview of our internal diversity dashboards. We recently expanded the functionality so that Tweeps can drill down further into orgs, see trends in representation across the business, and filter by leader and office location. We are committed to sharing diversity data with our people because we know deep transparency builds trust and drives change.
We recently rolled out a new I&D Health Check-Up program, a monthly customized report for each member of our leadership team, or “Staff.” These check-ups help keep I&D top of mind by giving leaders a more detailed view on hiring, attrition, and promotions for women, black, and Latinx employees across their org. They also provide a tool for business support functions (e.g., recruiters, HRBPs) to tailor efforts for each org and accelerate progress.
Hiring & Promos
We want our Tweeps to see themselves reflected in our leadership. That’s why in Q3, we’re launching an initiative to require diverse candidate slates for all senior roles (L8 and above). The program requires that at least one female (worldwide) and one black or Latinx (US) qualified candidate be considered by the interview panel. We will share results from this initiative in Q2 of next year.
Recruiting Diverse Technical Talent
We play an important role in growing the pipeline of diverse technical talent. That’s why we’re investing in next-generation technical leaders from nontraditional backgrounds (coding bootcamps, self-taught coders, veterans, caregivers returning to the workforce, etc.) and those underrepresented in tech (women, black, Latinx, Native American).
In July, we launched our first Engineering Apprenticeship Program, a one-year rotation initially focused on people from nontraditional computer science backgrounds. Upon completion of the program, graduates will transition into one of our engineering teams. Our first cohort arrives in Q4. We’re committed to working out the kinks as we learn and grow so the program may reach its full potential in 2020.
We are also pursuing a decentralized workforce strategy as a way of expanding our reach to tap into more diverse talent pools. So we’ve launched a hiring tour for technical roles, currently focused on six cities outside of San Francisco. Interviewing is hard enough, so we’re offering qualified applicants airfare, hotel stays — and even onsite childcare — for those who need it. This initial effort is focused on three skill sets (Backend/Systems, Full Stack, and Mobile) but we may expand to more roles and cities if it proves successful.
We review promotions annually. In our most recent analysis, we found that the makeup of employees promoted from January 2018 to December 2018 generally tracked to our demographic population during that time frame.
*Promotions are defined by moving from one grade level to the next.
Based on these results, we know we can do better. We’re focused on addressing promotion of black and Latinx employees, particularly in entry-level technical roles where we’re launching an onboarding program for new grads. We are also evaluating opportunities to formally integrate I&D into the promotion decision-making process.
Scaling a Global I&D Team
We are scaling our I&D team! In July, we hired a new global leader, James Loduca (@JamesLoduca), who is building a team with an eye to all of the ways we want to embed I&D across core business functions. We are also hiring a leader based in Asia Pacific to ensure that our I&D function has a truly global perspective as we scale.
Learning & Development
Our goal is to embed I&D throughout our learning and development programs.
This summer, we conducted “Words Matter” workshops at offices around the globe to empower our Tweeps with inclusive language skills to guide their daily interactions with each other.
Here are a few things happening in Q4:
We are launching weekly workshops as part of an expansion of our Q2 global pilot focused on Healthy Conversations. We are focused on empowering our Tweeps to have healthy conversations around the tough issues that can surface everyday and put health at the center of our culture.
We are also hosting our fourth cohort of WELead, our leadership program for emerging female talent, and launching our first Global Female Leaders Program in partnership with Stanford University.
Moving forward, we’re building out a portfolio of learning and development that we can deploy at scale on topics like Unconscious Bias, Inclusive Hiring, and Inclusive Leadership. We hope to have these programs in place by the first half of next year.
Connecting with our Tweeps
Tweeps play a critical and active role in building an inclusive and diverse Twitter. Here are some Q2 highlights.
The health of our employees is our top priority. That’s why in August we launched Flock Talk, a program that builds on past efforts for Tweeps to come together during difficult times to share what’s going on with them, find community, and be heard by our leaders. This session was focused on hearing from Latinx Tweeps and allies in the wake of a series of events targeting Latinx people in the United States. More than 150 Tweeps from across the US and Mexico participated in the first session. The program coincides with the formation of an internal working group to meet regularly and review opportunities to better protect and promote diverse voices across our company and service.
Our leaders were on the road this summer visiting Twitter offices in Atlanta, Madrid, Paris, London, Hamburg, Dublin, Dubai, Bangalore, and New York to hear directly from our Tweeps. Their feedback revealed opportunities to better resource our BRGs and make them truly global, empower all Tweeps with tools to be allies, and create inspirational moments for Tweeps to create a more diverse and inclusive Twitter around the world. We’re already working to address what we heard!
Business Resource Groups
Our BRGs are the foundation of our inclusion efforts at Twitter. To ensure they have the resources and support they need to be successful on a global scale, we are implementing these enhancements:
In September, we celebrate Latinx voices around the world (corresponding with Hispanic Heritage Month in the US). We’re also excited to launch our latest BRG, Twitter Able (@TwitterAble), for Tweeps with disabilities and their allies.
Here are some of the amazing things that our BRGs made possible in Q2:
Twitter Alas (@TwitterAlas) deepened its partnership with Techqueria, a nonprofit serving the largest community of Latinx people in tech. Together, we hosted events in New York and San Francisco to learn from Latinx leaders, network with peers, and deepen the connection between great Latinx talent and our company.
Twitter Asians (@TwitterAsians) hosted an event bringing the Asian tech community together in Cambridge and celebrated the release of “Blinded by the Light” with a cast Q&A and advanced screenings for members in New York and San Francisco.
Blackbirds (@Blackbirds) launched the Blackbirds Ambassador program to expand Blackbirds leadership and support to more Twitter offices around the world. This program empowers ambassadors to locally grow Blackbirds with a dedicated budget, resources, and communication channels.
Twitter Open (@TwitterOpen) conducted 40+ global events, site activations, and digital campaigns for Pride. To highlight the diversity and intersectionality of its community, Twitter Open co-hosted events around the world with Blackbirds, Twitter Alas, Twitter Asians, and Twitter Women, and marched in the Dublin and London Pride parades.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots (#Stonewall50), Twitter Open produced a campaign spotlighting powerful voices in the LGBTQ+ community to emphasize the power of being seen and heard. It culminated in a large-scale digital out-of-home activation in Times Square for World Pride in NYC and in San Francisco during its Pride parade. #SeeUsHearUs
Twitter Stripes (@TwitterStripes) is growing a partnership with Merging Vets and Players, an organization that supports former combat veterans and professional athletes “after the uniform comes off.” Stripes is also partnering with Student Vets of America in an effort to align veteran talent on college campuses with our University Recruiting efforts.
Twitter Women (@TwitterWomen) hosted seven events with 200+ attendees. Highlights include an “Own Your Own Story” workshop with Olivia Christian on crafting an authentic and compelling personal brand story, and fireside chats in New York and Dublin with authors Lydia Fenet and Jean Case, and Insaff El Hassini, founder of Lean In France, respectively.
Product & Partnerships
Building a Diverse Supply Chain
As we launched this program, much of our work has focused on understanding our current spend with diverse suppliers, the resources that buyers need to be successful, and the unique value Twitter can bring to diverse suppliers and our community partners.
We developed program objectives for 2019 and beyond focused on:
In Q4, we are launching a Supplier Development virtual workshop for diverse suppliers entitled “How to Do Business With Twitter” and hosting “A Night of Networking” event in collaboration with Twitter Women, bringing together women-owned businesses and Twitter.
Investing in Communities
Our I&D efforts extend beyond our workforce to include underrepresented voices on our service, and the communities where our Tweeps work and live.
This quarter we hosted a new event series of #TwitterVoices to build trust and elevate diverse voices on the platform. Some highlights include:
We also launched 10 days of virtual #TweetUps in 40 locations around the world to connect people across difference and distance. As part of the activation, we hosted #TweetUps for black #TwitterVoices in Detroit to share a meal with Afro-Brazilians in Sao Paulo. Black voices in Harlem dined with Nigerians in Lagos, and Latinx voices in LA convened across the table with Afro-Latino people in Honduras. These powerful connections and conversations enabled underrepresented communities to share what's happening in their world and discover what's happening in someone else's.
On the five-year anniversary of the Ferguson tragedy, we met with activists who were active on the platform during the protests after the death of Michael Brown. This gave the activists a moment to sit down with Jack Dorsey (@Jack) and Twitter leadership to talk about activism on the platform moving forward, and ways to invest in the greater community.
It is important to us to help people with barriers to employment find work that’s meaningful to them and open pathways to careers in tech for underrepresented minorities.
In San Francisco, this year we have invested $1.6 million in local partners, donated 340+ computers to groups like Dev/Mission, Code Tenderloin and Hack the Hood, and hosted 4,800+ people at the Twitter NeighborNest (@NeighborNest), a center that lets homeless or low-income residents access technology, education, and training.
We also conducted 85+ volunteer projects across 26 offices, spanning the entire globe on #TwitterforGood Day. We worked with 1,300+ volunteers who provided 3,800 hours of service in close partnership with 80 community-based organizations.
Phew! That was a lot –– and we’re just getting warmed up. Thanks to all of our Tweeps who helped drive progress this quarter, and to all of you for coming along for the ride and sharing your feedback. We’re excited for all the opportunities ahead. See you back here for our year-end report, and until then — see you on Twitter!