Everyone’s favorite food, fashion and home decor pinning platform, Pinterest, is taking internal steps to be just as diverse as its users. Hoping to increase diversity in the technology industry overall, Pinterest announced on Thursday its goal to hire more women and minorities, and its’ making those goals public to help hold itself accountable.
A few years ago, it would be absurd to think a tech company would publish and make known its efforts for diversity, as the numbers are often grim (showcasing mostly white or Asian men, Pinterest included), but the social site is looking to change that in more ways than one.
While the announcement makes Pinterest the first major tech company to show its inner workings towards diversity to this extent, the company is not stopping there. It will soon introduce an experimental lab at its San Francisco base to test strategies in building a diverse and inclusive company.
“By sharing these goals publicly, we’re holding ourselves accountable to make meaningful changes to how we approach diversity at Pinterest,” platform co-founder Evan Sharp said in the announcement.
“We’ll also be sharing what’s working and what isn’t as we go, so hopefully other companies can learn along with us. Over time, we hope to help build an industry that is truly diverse, and by extension more inclusive, creative and effective.”
Rev. Jesse Jackson has often scolded the technology industry for its lack of commitment to diversity, but he is now praising the steps Pinterest is taking.
“Pinterest is putting a huge stake in the ground by setting specific, measurable goals, targets and a 2016 timetable to achieve its diversity and inclusion goals,” Jackson said. “We have said: ‘If you don’t measure it, you don’t mean it.’ Clearly, Pinterest means it.”
In the new plans for a more inclusive workplace, Pinterest employees will take part in training to dismantle unconscious bias. The site will also host a training and mentorship program for African American software engineers.
Pinterest engineer Tracy Chou has been a long-time advocate of diversity in tech after working for Facebook, Google and Quara. Two years ago, Chou challenged tech companies to make public the number of female engineers in their ranks with plans to show just how big the problem is. After one year of numbers being made public not much has changed.
“We are trying to double representation of women and minorities in the tech industry,” said Chou to USA Today. “We felt like this was the right step to take. We are going to be accountable and set goals which are ambitious but that we think are achievable. I think it will drive us internally to work much harder because we have made a public statement.”
Pinterest will also begin interviewing at least one women and one minority candidate for every leadership position and will soon launch an internship program to support freshman and sophomore students from underrepresented minority groups.
What’s great about the company’s new plans toward a more diverse workforce is its focus on sharing its findings with the rest of the industry. We just hope more companies make moves as decisive and goal-oriented as this.