The New Key to Facebook’s Success

At the recent She++ conference, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) was the most represented company there. Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer and Director of Engineering Jocelyn Goldfein both spoke at the conference, affirming their company’s commitment to hiring women.

The statements from these representatives demonstrated their commitment to getting more talented engineers to join their team, and they are particularly committed to recruiting more women. The problem Goldfein said is that there are fewer women in the industry making it more difficult to recruit. Goldfein said,  “The fact that women are such a small percentage of CS majors when they’re such a large percentage of undergraduates is kind of the missing link. And it’s really obvious when you think about it.”

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Schroepfer also commented on the difficulties the company faced in recruiting women. Schroepfer says, “There are just fewer women graduating and fewer women in the industry. So I think there’s just a smaller pool of people and I think, because of that, if Facebook had gender parity, then everyone else in the industry wouldn’t, just statistically. So our first problem is not a Facebook problem, it’s an industry problem.”

Facebook has been heavily involved in this conference over the past few years, and they have also been involved in other conferences including the Grace Hopper Conference and the Anita Borg Institute. Additionally, for the last few years, Schroepfer and Mark Zuckerberg have been guest lecturers at an introductory CS course at Stanford, which also serves as an opportunity for Facebook to recruit.

Goldfein admits that Facebook is focused on claiming a disproportionate share of the women in the industry. She noted that, “There are a set of scarce, valuable, talent pools in software and we’re out to get more than our share. But that’s not a winning approach for the whole industry. Everybody can’t do that.”

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Facebook is very interested in hiring more women, but the problem is that the applicant pool is too small to begin with. Additionally, the company is experimenting with a new internship program. While traditional ones are focused on reaching juniors, seniors, and graduate students of computer science, the new internship program is going to be open students opening the freshman year of college. This is part of the company’s strategy to reach and recruit more women.

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