Face it: Facebook board features seven white men, no women

Face it: Facebook board features seven white men, no women

Summary: The Face It Campaign launches today. The goal is to let the world know that Facebook should not go public with a board of directors that does not feature any women. Will the campaign succeed?


The Face It Campaign is an attempt to bring attention to the fact that Facebook's board of directors features only white men, or more specifically, no women. To support the cause, you can sign a petition on iPetitions, follow on Twitter, read the blog, and of course Like the campaign's Facebook Page.

Alice Baumgartner, one of the group's members, told me the campaign "protests the fact that although women make up the majority of Facebook's users, produce the majority of its content, and drive its profits, Facebook's board is made up of seven white men. The Face It campaign is supported by community and business leaders who are tired of seeing so little movement on the issue of diverse leadership."

Here's the campaign's official description:

The FACE IT Campaign is led by young women and men across the world—from Australia to Europe to the United States to Argentina—with the help of community leaders and business professionals.

The reason is that Facebook has announced a $5 billion IPO—with a corporate board composed exclusively of white men.

We believe that this board of white men should include women of all colors. Because Facebook should go public with a board that reflects its own mission—to make the world more open and connected.

Simple as that.

As you can see in the video above, the campaign was supposed to launch yesterday, but it ended up officially launching today. I'm guessing the group decided debuting on April Fools' Day wasn't the best idea.

Facebook's board of directors currently includes former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz, Jim Breyer of Accel Partners, The Washington Post Company chairman and CEO Donald E. Graham, Peter Thiel of Clarium Capital and Founders Fund, as well as Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg (the board's chairman).

Two months ago, the California State Teachers' Retirement System told Facebook that a board of directors of seven members is unacceptable, not only because it is small, but because it only features men. A week later, the Institutional Shareholder Services told Facebook that its co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has too much power. Last month, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce applauded Facebook for updating its IPO filing to include minority-owned banks as underwriters.

I have contacted Facebook about the campaign and will update you if I hear back.

See also:

Topics: Enterprise Software, CXO, Legal, IT Employment, Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • /whine

    [sarc]The NAACP and BET boards have only black people, so we should protest until they change it to include more people of color.[/sarc]

    I think this is ridiculous. People should be chosen for the board based on their sound decision-making and interest in stockholders, not their race or gender. If there was any discrimination going on, then maybe affirmative action would fit ... at least make sure there is a list of rejected but viable women candidates before you start demanding a company employ who you want.
  • I think Mister Spock will be here next

    Whining about why they're aren't enough fuzzy green TV space aliens on Facebook's board.

  • Boards Represent...

    ...wait for it, a company's ownership, not the population at large. Want to guess the ethnicity and gender of the majority of Facebook's current ownership?

    When they go public, over time, the ownership will change and they can change the membership as they please.

    My hope is FB tells these campaigners to go start their own company with a diverse board to compete. Better use of their energy.
  • So it comes down to this -

    It's more important to choose not who you feel is best suited for the position, instead you must choose people based on gender or race.

    So are those of Irish hertage represented? Lets hope they get a lesbien or homosexual in there, as they aren't represented nearly enough on boards to match the makeup of society. And women. They need a woman in there, yes.

    Maybe they should be [b]forced[/b] to hire Rosie O'Donnell - that would cover all three criteria.
    William Farrel
  • Face it: Facebook board features seven white men, no women

    That Alice lady just doesn't understand how business works. Women may make up a lot of the content but they aren't the ones who drive the business behind the scenes. If these 7 men are doing a competent job at keeping Facebook profitable then there is no need to have a woman on there. I went to the campaign site, while they do list reasons for having women on the board none of them are good enough reasons to change it up.
    Loverock Davidson-
  • A petition won't do it...

    As a private company, they are free to choose their board based on what they deem appropriate. Once they go public, it will be the choice of the people who do not approve of the makeup of the board to do one of two things. They could either boycott the stock, or they could buy enough of it to be able to vote their own candidates in.
  • What's wrong with white men?

    Seriously, what's wrong with having an all white male board? Did you see the people on that board? Experts and former CEO's across a broad range of fields. They all seem like excellent choices. Ultimately, people need to stop being so sensitive about crap like this. Spend your time bettering yourself instead of sticking your nose in everybody's business.
  • No, they could use the help

    There are reasons people want diversity, and Facebook could certainly benefit from it. These men are making a lot of big mistakes in terms of privacy and trust. If they continue, as soon as there's a better social network, all these women who need to "shut up" and "stop being so sensitive" will walk. Since he built the thing to get dates, you'd think he'd at least care to hear what women have to say.

    Certainly, Facebook doesn't have to - but it would be smart to do so. We'll see if he's as socially and business astute as he is tech savvy.
    • Zuckerberg did not build Facebook to get girls/dates.

      That's bullshit from the movie The Social Network. He had a girlfriend at the time, who he is still with to this day.