|Maxine Williams, Global Director of Diversity at Facebook Headquarters|
It's becoming a well-known fact that diversity is lacking in technology companies. Even at Facebook, minorities are underrepresented, with only 2 percent blacks, 4 percent Hispanic, and a third women. Facebook recognized they had a problem and hired Maxine Williams to fix it.
No newcomer when it comes to diversity
Williams is not a newcomer when it comes to diversity. Born in Trinidad, Williams was in charge of the diversity program at a major U.S. law firm when she was recruited by Facebook. She knew that the technology industry was underrepresented by African-Americans, Hispanics and women, but what impressed her was Facebook's eager willingness to change the situation. Now, as one of the few black people on the Facebook campus, Williams is excited to help but she wants to do it right.
As Williams explained it, "If you did it right, I didn't think you would just change a company, but you could change an industry and you could change the world." What does Williams mean by that? While most Facebook users are women and include every race and ethnicity, like most technology companies, they employ mostly white and Asian men. It doesn't add up, and Williams believes that the future of Facebook and other technology companies depends on diversity.
Williams' education and background qualifies her for the job
Williams attended Yale and studied law at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. Her law experience includes practicing law in Trinidad and teaching law at the University of the West Indies. Yet she still remembers being evicted from her apartment because she was black, being barred from clubs because she was a female. She understands well the need for diversity and has been given much responsibility at Facebook to make big changes at the company.
Follow Maxine Williams on Facebook at www.facebook.com/maxine.williams.5205