Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Airbnb seeks more diversity in its Silicon Valley workplace - Toronto Star

by Marisa Kendall
Originally published: June 7, 2016

Like many of the region’s tech companies it has struggled to attract women, minorities, and veterans — the workforce is estimated to be 63 per cent white.

As controversy swirls around Airbnb over allegations of racial discrimination on its home-sharing platform, the company is looking inward to address another problem all-too common in Silicon Valley —a lack of diversity in the workplace.

On Monday the company announced Airbnb Connect, a Bay Area program focused on opening careers in engineering and data science to minorities, women, veterans and other groups underrepresented in the technology sector. Airbnb will select 11 candidates to participate in the six-month program that combines education and paid work at the company’s San Francisco headquarters, with the goal of ultimately offering participants full-time jobs.

“We will build better products if our team is as diverse as the community we serve,” Mike Curtis, Airbnb’s vice president of engineering, wrote in a news release. “We are determined to attract and retain people from diverse backgrounds at Airbnb, and we hope that Airbnb Connect opens up new opportunities for people.”