Facebook Criticized Over Lack Of Board Diversity
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

(Image: Facebook)

Social networking site Facebook filed paperwork for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)  this month and the Internet is still rocking from the news.

Potential buyers got their first look at its financials last week. It showed the company produced a $1 billion profit last year from $3.71 billion in revenues and derives 85% of those revenues from advertising, with the rest from social gaming and other fees.

But the deal is not without scrutiny. In a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg the California pension fund CalSTRS called out the social networking behemoth for not inviting any women or minorities on its board of directors, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“We are disappointed that the Facebook board will not have any woman members,” wrote Anne Sheehan, the director of corporate governance.

Janice Hester-Amey, a portfolio manager at CalSTRS, added that Facebook appears to lack both women as well as men of color. CalSTRS’ stake in Facebook was worth about $30 million as of June 30, she said.

To Zuckerberg’s credit, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer and highest paid employee, Sheryl Sandberg, is a woman. Also, several interns graduated from the Facebook Year Up program last week and more Year Up interns took their place.

“We’re so glad to have participated in Year Up and to have worked with our incredibly smart and driven interns,” wrote a Facebook representative on its diversity page.

Year Up is a one-year, intensive training program that provides low-income young adults, ages 18-24, with a combination of hands-on skill development, college credits, and corporate internships. Still, the company has a long way to go before it can be considered diverse.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.

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