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Sheryl Sandberg Explains How Facebook Will Answer Criticism That Its Board Is Too White and Too Male

Facebook’s board is due to get more diverse.

The tech giant, which currently has two women and one African American on its nine-member board, will be applying a “diverse slate approach” to new board appointments, according to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Speaking during the company’s annual shareholders meeting on Thursday, Sandberg explained that she “wanted to make that commitment publicly.”

The diverse slate approach, defined by Facebook (FB) as setting “the expectation that hiring managers will consider candidates from underrepresented backgrounds when interviewing for an open position,” is intended to increase diverse hiring.

The approach is already used in hiring for Facebook employees. Sandberg’s Thursday comments suggest that this will be the first time it will be applied to board members as well.

After sustained criticism for its lack of diversity, the company appointed its first African-American board member in January: former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault. He joined the two women currently sitting on the board, Sandberg and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Susan Desmond-Hellmann, as the only non-white male board members.

Facebook’s last board appointment was another white man, however. Earlier this month, Facebook announced that it had appointed Jeff Zients, the CEO of holding company Cranemere and former economic advisor to President Obama.