As Silicon Valley companies continue to grapple with questions of increasing the diversity of their employees, Pinterest named Candice Morgan on Wednesday as its first head of diversity.
Morgan is joining the company after spending 10 years at Catalyst, a non-profit organization tracks women in business. Morgan will report to Pinterest’s head of recruiting, according to the Wall Street Journal, and will help the company reach the diversity hiring goals it set last year. As of last July, women held only 21% of tech jobs at Pinterest, 19% of engineering jobs, and 16% of leadership roles. Black or Latino employees made up 5% of business roles, less than 2% of engineering jobs, and held none of the leadership positions.
Pinterest, an online bulletin board for images, is far from the only company with such numbers when it comes to the diversity of its employees. Even giants like Google and Facebook continue to struggle with changing the make-up of their workforces. Pinterest engineer Tracy Chou kicked off the conversation more than two years ago when she published the company’s data on female engineering employees in a blog post.
Pinterest also said on Wednesday that it plans to debut two new programs to help increase the diversity of its hires. One is a year-long apprenticeship program for potential hires from “non-traditional tech backgrounds” such as coding bootcamp graduates to join the company. Pinterest says there will be opportunities to convert apprentices to full-time every quarter. The other initiative is an eight-week summer internship program from current college freshmen pursuing a degree in engineering or other technical field. Pinterest says it’s encouraging students from underrepresented groups to apply to the program, though it’s not clear if it’s open to any and all applicants.
Pinterest’s announcement comes only a week after Twitter made headlines when it hired Apple’s Jeffrey Siminoff as its vice president of diversity and inclusion. Twitter was criticized for choosing a white male to fill a position that is largely about hiring and fostering employees very different from his demographic group.