Continuing with this year’s most talked about thing in Silicon Valley tech companies — diversity and inclusion, Twitter has roped in a new VP for the same, Jeffrey Siminoff, a former Apple Exec working in similar capacity.
The new VP named Jeffrey Siminoff is currently the Director of Worldwide Inclusion and Diversity at Apple and will replace Janet Van Huysse as VP at Twitter from next year. The announcement was made on Twitter itself by Brian Schipper who is the head of human resources at Twitter.
Many global companies, particularly the social networking companies like Facebook, Twitter etc are increasingly focusing on increasing diversity in their employees. It has been found in many cases by these companies that a majority of their user population comprise of different ethnic groups who find no or negligible representation among their employees.
For instance, taking the case of Twitter itself, according to a diversity report released by the company in the last year, although African-Americans and Hispanics make up more than 30% of Twitter’s (US) monthly active users, less than 5% from these groups make up engineering and product management combined.
In order to develop their platforms and products to cater to those different people, having employees from diverse backgrounds is one of the prime requirements. And, it becomes more important in the case of Twitter, as it is already struggling with a low growth rate in the number of users.
Before bringing in a new VP, Twitter has already been making efforts in this direction for quite some time. After sharing the diversity data last year, this year, the company shared its wide diversity goals for the year 2016 publicly.
These goals involved increasing the role of women and under-represented minorities in different positions of tech and leadership.
Moreover, Twitter also faced major flak recently when its engineering manager, Leslie Miley, who was also the only black engineer in a leadership position at Twitter, left his position. He cited the reason of his decision as his dissatisfaction with the way Twitter was addressing diversity and inclusion.
Although, it was said that Miley was laid off as the part of the mass layoff Twitter did in October but Miley claimed that he had already told Twitter about his leaving plans at the end of October. He had even passed on the severance package so that he could speak openly about his experience at Twitter.
In a detailed post, Miley had explained about his experiences with the Twitter engineering team on the hiring process for increasing diversity and inclusion. He had also admitted the possibility that Twitter’s issues with growth and engagement and the issues with internal diversity were somewhat related.