Facebook Manager Quits After Being Harassed For Calling Out the Company's Diversity Problem
Photo Credit: AfroTech

Facebook Manager Quits After Being Harassed For Calling Out the Company's Diversity Problem

A Facebook engineering manager announced her last day at the tech giant earlier this month, citing harassment from coworkers after she addressed the lack of diversity at the company.

According to CNBC, Sophie Alpert wrote about her reasons for leaving on Workplace, Facebook’s internal social network. Alpert, who identifies as transgender, noted the backlash she faced from criticizing Facebook and addressed being attacked by colleagues.

“Facebook is good for many people, but it’s not the right place for me right now,” Alpert wrote. “I want to spend my time at a place willing to push further on diversity and inclusion. One where it’s not OK to write on Workplace that white privilege doesn’t exist. One where if I call out that our board has too many white men, I don’t get harassed by other employees on Blind with transphobic messages saying I should be fired.”

In November 2018, former Facebook manager Mark Luckie left the company after releasing a scathing memo saying they have a diversity problem and are failing its Black employees.

“Facebook doesn’t have an excuse to not change,” Luckie told AfroTech. “This was my way of saying there is a way to change and this is how you do it.”

The social platform acknowledged in its fifth annual diversity report  that it struggles in recruiting diverse employees in technical roles and senior leadership. 

“Inclusion should be a team effort. It is not enough to simply hire people to focus on diversity,” Luckie said. “Everyone on teams whose work focuses on varied cultural backgrounds should be responsible for ensuring the outcome of their work is representative of those groups.”

The percentage of Black employees in technical roles at the company remained at 1 percent in 2018, and the percentage of Black employees in leadership roles stayed at 2 percent. Black workers in business and sales roles grew from 2 percent to 8 percent, the company reported.

Facebook spokesman Anthony Harrison told CNBC the company does not tolerate harassment and “has clear policies about how people should communicate with and treat each other at Facebook.”