Former Triangle tech entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa, now an academic and an outspoken defender of immigration reform as well as increasing corporate diversity, blasted Twitter- via Twitter, no less – for how the company responded Wednesday to its disclosure of abysmal minority employment statistics.
“To say they are proud is disgusting,” Wadhwa tweeted.
Wadhwa has been fighting with Twitter CEO Dick Costolo for almost a year about the company’s lack of diversity. From the ranks of the board, on down, Twitter and other technology firms simply don’t have enough women and minorities – and they must do more to diversify their ranks, Wadhwa says.
He’s been granted global forums to address the issue, too, such as on PBS and through The Washington Post.
But when Twitter publicly acknowledged how bad its employment statistics are (see chart with this post), the headline and tone of Twitter’s blog ignited Wadhwa’s passions.
“Boy, after the insults I endured by Costolo, Twitter’s diversity announcement set me off. Thought they had made progress. Obviously not,” Wadhwa said via Twitter.
Moments earlier, he posted:
“Just read Twitter’s announcement. Almost as bad as @dickc’s insults over his board. What planet are these people on? Should be ashamed.”
The blog post – “Building a Twitter we can be proud of” – was posted by Janet Van Huysse (@janetvh), vice president for Diversity and Inclusion.
“At Twitter, we have a goal to reach every person on the planet. We believe that goal is more attainable with a team that understands and represents different cultures and backgrounds,” she wrote.
“It makes good business sense that Twitter employees are representative of the vast and varied backgrounds of our users around the world. We also know that it makes good business sense to be more diverse as a workforce – research shows that more diverse teams make better decisions, and companies with women in leadership roles produce better financial results. But we want to be more than a good business; we want to be a business that we are proud of.
“To that end, we are joining some peer companies by sharing our ethnic and gender diversity data. And like our peers, we have a lot of work to do.”
“@janetvh You’re proud of Twitter’s diversity and say it reflects your users? https://blog.twitter.com/2014/building-a-twitter-we-can-be-proud-of … — I would be ashmed #Unacceptable”
“Twitter should have started by saying we are not proud of our record. We know our board, management, tech team isn’t reflective of our users
“To fix any problem you first have to admit it exists, then understand causes, measure, and work towards solutions. Not say you are proud!
“Then Twitter should have said they are taking urgent actions and doing this for their own interest. To say they are proud is disgusting
“Finally, @dickc [Costolo], you are not like your peers.Worse than all, unrepentant.”
Wadhwa also called for human resources executives to speak up about diversity at other companies:
“HR execs must speak up when they see hiring problems; not tolerate bias. If management doesn’t cooperate escalate to board; resign.”
Twitter joins Googles and others in disclosing diversity statistics. Wadhwa hopes the exposure drives changes.
“Google did tech industry a big service by breaking ranks and releasing gender data. As expected, all falling in line,” Wadhwa tweeted.
But he’s not finished.
“Waiting for Apple now.”