Mark Zuckerberg gets a lot of love on his own Facebook profile, which is befitting for the inventor of the world’s most popular social media platform. And when a grandmother named Darlene on Sunday joked in a comment that she advises her granddaughters to “date the nerd” because he might turn out to be the next Zuckerberg, the Facebook creator responded.
Zuckerberg’s advice to young girls: Why aim to date the nerd, when you could be the nerd and next big inventor yourself?
It’s a nice, feminist statement. But is Zuckerberg following his own advice?
As the CEO of Facebook, Zuckerberg’s theoretical push for gender equality falls flat when compared to his company’s employment statistics. According to June 2015’s Facebook diversity numbers, male employees snagged 84 percent of tech jobs while women barely scraped by at 16 percent.
At Facebook, a heterosexual woman is much more likely to date a nerd than to be one.
Women aren’t exactly dominating the non-tech positions at Zuckerberg’s company, either: Female employees only make up 32 percent of the company globally. That’s despite numerous studies showing women use social media more than men do—like the 2015 Pew Research report showing 77 percent of women use Facebook compared to only 66 percent of men.
Facebook’s diversity problem isn’t new, and criticism of its company makeup remains ongoing. Zuckerberg’s call to young female nerds shows his heart is in the right place—perhaps spurred on by his state of parental leave spent caring for his infant daughter. If he’s going to encourage women to seek engineering and developer jobs, he might want to start by hiring them at Facebook.
Photo via techcrunch/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III