by Sohini Mitter
Originally published: August 10, 2017
Diversity is the new buzzword in Silicon Valley after a much-publicized ‘Anti-Diversity Manifesto’ penned by a senior Google engineer threatened to expose the Valley’s blatant gender bias, and made several top employers uncomfortable. The gender disparity, both in workforce representation and compensation, is for real. Despite stray efforts to correct that, Google and many others have failed. In an interview with Bloomberg, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, one of the most powerful women in tech, says that while women make up half of her organization’s “business” departments, on the tech side, “it remains a struggle”.
Much of this disparity stems from a dearth of resources, i.e. an absence of women who are skilled in tech. Only about 16 percent of Computer Science graduates in the US are women. That is less than half of what it was in the 1980s when the overall industry was small. And that’s hardly encouraging. “In order to hire computer scientists, we have to persuade more women to go into CS,” says Sandberg. Facebook is doing its bit through the Facebook Internship Program and the Facebook University. “We tried to find women and under-represented minorities who we thought could be getting into CS. So, we could get them earlier and invest in them,” Sandberg explains.