Twitter released its September 2020 Inclusion & Diversity Report Wednesday, detailing its progress toward meeting its new 2025 representation commitments, as well as examining the impact of Black Lives Matter on employees in the U.S. and worldwide.
Vice president, people experience and head of inclusion and diversity Dalana Brand said in the introduction to the report, “Just when 2020 had done the most—it did more. It’s been a long overdue summer of racial reckoning in the U.S. and around the world, as advocates and allies raise their voices and demand an end to systemic racism, white supremacy, police brutality and anti-Blackness.”
Twitter set goals for 2025 of having at least 25% of its workforce in the U.S. be made up of underrepresented minorities, with at least 10% of those being Black.
Brand wrote, “These numbers aren’t nearly big enough, especially in technical and leadership roles, but they do show that Twitter strives to be a leader of our industry when it comes to representation of Black employees.”
As of the end of August, Black representation in Twitter’s overall U.S. workforce was 6.3%, up from 5.8% at the end of 2019.
Blacks filled 5.1% of technical roles in the U.S., up from 4.2% at the end of last year, and 5.7% of leadership positions, up from 5%.
Courses including “Healthy Conversations” (how to respectfully navigate tough topics in the workplace), “Words Matter” (how to spot and interrupt microaggressions) and “Allyship @ Twitter” (how to be an ally to underrepresented people) were recently made mandatory for all employees globally.
Membership in Twitter’s business resource groups has more than doubled over the past year, and the company network recently introduced a new compensation program to formally recognize the global leadership team of all of its BRGs, with Brand writing, “They do this work to empower our next generation of leaders, so that one day, they will no longer be the only. This work is essential to Twitter’s success—it is not a ‘side hustle’ or ‘volunteer activity.’”
She added, “A common theme we heard was that between the pandemic and a summer of racial reckoning, tweeps were tired,” so the company introduced five days of global rest, and it made Juneteenth a U.S. company holiday from here on out.
Also, for Juneteenth, Twitter turned several real tweets about racial inequality into billboards in cities where protests against police violence were prominent, including: Atlanta; Chicago; Louisville, Ky.; Minneapolis; New York; Los Angeles; Oakland, Calif; and Philadelphia.
Twitter split a $350,000 grant evenly between the Equal Justice Initiative and the National Association of Black Journalists, and it dedicated #AdsForGood grants for nonprofit organizations to amplify #BlackLivesMatter voices on its platform.
Brand wrote, “#BlackLivesMatter is a movement that transcends political parties or nation-states; it’s grounded in a struggle for fundamental human rights—and the hashtag first appeared in 2013 right on Twitter. So not only does that mean it hits especially close to home for all of us at Twitter, but also, as a Black woman raising three Black children, this work is deeply personal.”
She concluded, “The road to racial equality is long, but I’m proud of the steps we’ve taken to lay the foundation for us to continue to drive progress. While this blog post is mostly focused on the urgent call for change within the Black community in the U.S., we know that this echoes throughout our work with underrepresented groups around the world.”