Though 85% of users of Pinterest are female, according to a 2016 statistical finding, it seems that their workforce isn’t made up of nearly as many women. However, the company isn’t ignoring this. Rather, they’re attempting to hire more women in different fields around the company, including that of engineering. Unfortunately, though, they admitted to the fact that they hadn’t reached all of their hiring goals.
Pinterest had a goal of reaching a 30% hiring rate of women in their engineering roles for the company. They fell short of this goal, and so they lowered the goal to 25% in 2017. It should be noted, however, that even though Pinterest didn’t reach this goal, they had reached others, and feel that they have made progress in their hiring to make their workplace more diverse. According to their blog post on the subject, CEO Ben Silbermann, said that they were able to double the amount of underrepresented minorities that worked for them.
Inspiration apparently came from the famous “Rooney Rule” that plays out for the NFL. The rule was named after Dan Rooney, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, because of their history of giving African Americans job opportunities in leading roles for the team. Though it is sometimes called “affirmative action”, there is no quota or preference given to hiring people who are of minorities. Rather, the opportunity is presented to those who are of minorities, rather than leaving them behind because they are of another skin color, religion, gender, etc.
We updated our women in engineering hiring rate goal to 25% for 2017. We still aspire to 30%—but realize it’s likely going to take more than 12 months to get there. And since we’ve seen so much success with the Rooney Rule for executive roles, we’re extending it to more teams. — Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann