Technology companies are facing a diversity problem after the recent, widespread layoffs seen throughout the economy, according to The Washington Post. As a whole, they’re struggling to maintain their commitment to diversity while taking cost-cutting measures to prepare for a possible economic downturn.
During the pandemic, many firms — including some well-known tech companies — increased their diversity with offers of remote work. However, the Post found that now, as layoffs are being made, women and minority groups are more likely to let go because “they were newer to their jobs and occupied roles that companies were less interested in retaining.”
Meta is one of the companies that have seen a rise in diversity, but then a decline because of recent layoffs.
“Between 2021 and 2022, the share of Black, Hispanic, multiracial and Asian employees in [Meta’s] U.S. workforce increased, while the share of White workers dropped by 1.5 percentage points, according to Meta’s annual diversity report,” the Post reported.
Recently, however, a program that aimed to improve Meta’s pipeline of diversity-focused recruiters was scaled back as part of the company’s most recent layoffs — along with 13% of the company’s employees.
Broadly, the layoffs have primarily affected positions on a company’s business side, which historically are more likely to be made up of women and minority groups as opposed to the more lucrative technical roles.
In fact, women represented about 39% of the overall workforce but 46% of all layoffs since September, according to Reyhan Ayas, a senior economist at Revelio Labs, in his analysis of the data from layoffs.fyi.
“Overall, definitely nontechnical roles are more affected, women are more affected,” Ayas said. “And [diversity, equity and inclusion] efforts in general have been hindered at least in some companies by the layoffs in the last year or so.”