Saturday, November 7, 2015

Diversity Issue Drove Twitter's Black Engineering Manager to Quit


Twitter's Engineering Manager Leslie Miley has left Twitter, all because of the way Twitter is dealing with diversity and inclusion, and wrote about this in a post, “Thought on Diversity Part 2: Why Diversity is Difficult,” TechCrunch reports.

A particular low moment for Miley, he wrote, happened when he asked a question at Twitter’s engineering leadership meeting about what specific steps Twitter engineering was taking to increase diversity. Twitter’s senior VP of Engineering responded, “diversity is important, but we won’t lower the bar.” [...]Miley wrote that he left Twitter feeling conflicted, as he sees Twitter as a platform for empowering underserved and underrepresented people. - Read more at:

An excerpt from Miley's post reads:
During my time at Twitter I experienced the pride and sense of purpose on seeing #Ferguson and #blacklivesmatter on the most prominent wall at Twitter HQ. This is something I will never forget.
And yet there were moments that caused me to question how and why a company whose product has been used as an agent of revolutionary social change did not reflect the diversity of thought, conversation, and people in its ranks. - Read more at:

In an interview with Code Switch, during which he talked of his recent decision to leave his job at Twitter — a job he loved — citing frustration over the company's overwhelmingly white workforce and internal resistance to changing it, Miley said that recruiting is the best place to start for a company, like Twitter, to address the issue of diversity, specifically to get more diverse candidates. As it is, he revealed There's a document at Twitter that lists the schools that Twitter wants to recruit from.[...]It listed Cal, Stanford, CMU, Waterloo, MIT, typical schools like that. Never listed any state schools. Never listed any HBCUs. ...” - Read more at:

In response to Miley's revelation of the company's approach to diversity, a senior Twitter executive offered an explanation. Engineering manager Leslie Miley wrote that he was asked to build a tool that would classify recruitment candidates' ethnicity by analysing their last name. The idea was intended to improve diversity among staff. Alex Roetter, Senior Vice President of Engineering, said that the "engineering-driven, quantitative solution" was a "blind spot". - Read more at:

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