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Facebook Has a ‘Black People Problem,’ Says Former Employee

A Black former Facebook employee is accusing the company of having “a Black people problem” in a note published publicly on the social network on Tuesday.

Surprisingly, it has not been removed. Mark Luckie said Facebook’s population of Black employees does not represent its population of Black users. The letter frankly stated that the site presents one image publicly, but internally, it is the opposite.

“There is often more diversity in keynote presentations than the teams who present them,” Luckie wrote in the note, which he originally shared with Facebook employees on Nov. 8, his last day of work.

“In some buildings, there are more ‘Black Lives Matter’ posters than there are actual Black people. Facebook can’t claim that it is connecting communities if those communities aren’t represented proportionately in its staffing.”

Mark Luckie
Mark Luckie (Courtesy of DiversityInc)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg leads an all-white executive team. The company’s 2018 diversity report revealed that Black employees make up only 4 percent of its total workforce, accounting for 1 percent of technical jobs and only 2 percent of senior leadership.

In comparison, on average, 24.2 percent of the CEO and direct reports level at the DiversityInc Top 10 and Hall of Fame companies are are racially diverse — 11.2 percent Black, 8 percent Latino and 5 percent Asian. Facebook has never participated in DiversityInc’s Top 50 competition.

“You can build something that works, that people want to use, but you can’t actually make all the right decisions if among the builders there’s not enough diversity and perspective,” Facebook’s head of diversity Maxine Williams told CNBC in July.

Luckie also mentioned that he wasn’t always treated with respect or as an equal.

“On a personal note, at least two or three times a day, every day, a colleague at MPK will look directly at me and tap or hold their wallet or shove their hands down their pocket to clutch it tightly until I pass,” he said.

Another former minority employee agreed with Luckie’s analysis of the company’s diversity issues.

“Facebook touts diversity and inclusion as though it’s a marketing opportunity, and perhaps it is genuinely meaningful to them on its face. But when it comes to tactical, day-to-day integration of their stock ‘unconscious bias’ training, it proves to still be a group of exceedingly privileged white people making similarly biased and discriminatory choices as other white leaders in the industry,” the former employee remarked.

Luckie’s final jab summed up his precise feelings for his former employer:

“To feel like an oddity at your own place of employment because of the color of your skin while passing posters reminding you to be your authentic self feels in itself inauthentic.”

Facebook’s spokesman Anthony Harrison addressed the accusations by responding with a statement about its “diligent work” regarding their efforts to be more inclusive.

“The growth in representation of people from more diverse groups, working in many different functions across the company, is a key driver of our ability to succeed,” Harrison said in a statement provided to CNBC. “We want to fully support all employees when there are issues reported and when there may be micro-behaviors that add up. We are going to keep doing all we can to be a truly inclusive company.”

In more fodder for the masses, Harrison rambled on about “trying to do better” but it really just boils down to Facebook actually doing better.

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