Pinterest reveals diversity hiring goals for 2016

This isn't the first time the multi-billion dollar valued company has taken strides to promote diversity in the industry.


Silicon Valley businesses, large and small, have taken a considerable amount of heat over the diversity of their workforces, or rather because of the lack thereof.

Although typically associated with having a predominantly female target audience, Pinterest isn't exactly immune to this predicament internally.

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However, the digital scrapbooking and budding e-commerce platform has done something rather exceptional by publishing its hiring goals for 2016 with the plan to hire more women and minorities.

This isn't the first time the multi-billion dollar valued company has taken strides to promote diversity in the industry.

Last fall, Pinterest banded together with Box and Facebook to launch a pilot mentorship program dubbed WEST: Women Entering and Saying in Technology. Starting with participants situated in the tech-centric Bay Area, WEST will match budding professionals with mentees, encouraging them to meet individually and as a group, in-person and online, over the course of a year.

Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp elaborated in a blog post on Thursday about these goals and the steps the San Francisco-based company plans to take in order to achieve them, starting with implementing a "Rooney Rule-type requirement" calling for interviewing at least one person from an underrepresented background and one female candidate for every open leadership position.

Additional measures include widening the net of universities picked for recruiting, an "early identification" intern program geared toward finding underclassmen from underrepresented backgrounds, and the establishment of a new mentorship program led by a Pinterest engineer "to maximize the impact of Black software engineers and students."

Pinterest has also tapped an strategy and consulting firm Paradigm to set up a new imitative dubbed Inclusion Labs for experimenting with diversity-minded hiring tactics.

Overall, Pinterest hopes to boost hiring rates for full-time engineers to at least 30 percent female and eight percent from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds. Pinterest also wants to grow hiring rates for non-engineering roles to 12 percent underrepresented ethnic backgrounds.

Sharp asserted Pinterest has already made progress, for example growing the total female employee base from 40 percent to 42 percent over the last year.

But that kind of incremental change, as much as every bit counts, isn't going to appease critics in the long run.

The engineering department, for instance, is another story with a 81 to 19 percent male to female split, with 66 percent from Asian backgrounds and another 31 percent Caucasian.

"By sharing these goals publicly, we're holding ourselves accountable to make meaningful changes to how we approach diversity at Pinterest," Sharp promised.

Charts via Pinterest