Inclusion & Diversity Report May 2019

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

We want our company to reflect our service, and we’re continuing our journey to bring inclusion and diversity to how we work and who we are. We are making steady progress while we learn the right approach for Twitter.

In our Annual Inclusion & Diversity report published in March, we committed to greater transparency around our work, and more frequent updates. We wanted to show work in progress so we shifted our annual cadence of reporting to quarterly. This is our first quarterly Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) report which we presented to our Board on May 30, 2019. Instead of creating a different report to publish publicly, we are sharing with you what we shared with them.

This report is broken down across six key areas: data, accountability, hiring, training, product and partnerships, and Tweeps. Included within each are areas we progressed, areas we are falling short, what we’ve learned, and where we’ll focus.

Our goal is to do our work at Twitter out in the open and this is a step toward that vision. Through increased openness, we believe we can learn together, discuss together, and make greater strides together.

This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.

The Data

Where we are
In 2018, we set two-year diversity targets for women, black, and Latinx total representation. We earlier reported our numbers as of Dec 2018. Here are our numbers as of May 2019.

This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.

We’re on track to meet our targets for women and black employees. For Latinx, we’re behind and are prioritizing Latinx hiring, inclusion, and retention efforts.

[Gender data is global, 99.1% of Tweeps have self-identified. Race and ethnicity data is US only, of which 80.8% of Tweeps self-identified.]

We’ve seen increases across women, black, and Latinx leadership representation.

This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.

Women representation in technical roles increased slightly, while black and Latinx remained steady.

This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.

We anticipate a spike in the hiring of technical roles in Q3. This will unlock a significant opportunity to increase women, black, and Latinx representation.

Hiring is a critical indicator of future trends. New hire results below are expressed as a percentage of total new hires in May 2019.

This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.

Attrition data informs where we prioritize our retention efforts. The data here is shown as a percentage of total company attrition. For example, 38.7% of total attrition were women.

This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.

Here are the broader race and ethnicity breakdowns for the US.

This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.

New diversity dashboards
In March of this year, we launched a new internal dashboard that gives all Tweeps access to org-level demographic data (gender, race, leadership, and tech representation stats) at the management level. All data is based on voluntary self-ID.

There are drop-downs to view gender and race/ethnicity data at the Twitter level, and also at the team level (Engineering, Product, Marketing, Legal, etc).

By hovering over any of the columns, leadership and tech vs. non-tech representation is provided. For instance, a Tweep can select a leader’s name in the drop-down, select race/ethnicity, and hover over the column on the right to learn how many black employees are within that leader’s team.

This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.

Pay equity
In Q1 we finished an analysis of pay after our comp planning cycle.  We found that all of our people are paid equitably across genders, races, and ethnicities.

Our analysis compared pay across all US-based employees, as well as pay for employees in our global offices, and included base salary, incentive compensation (where applicable), performance bonus, and equity compensation. We looked at the data across gender (globally) and race/ethnicity (US only) based on employee self-ID.

Recently, the People team began a review of our promotion data. We are currently analyzing the results and once complete we plan on sharing our findings in Q3. We will prioritize any next steps that might be needed to ensure equity.

This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.

Our data: what we learned
After analyzing our data and gathering feedback from Tweeps and people on Twitter, we identified three key issues to address:

  1. We have significant gaps in self-ID. We don’t have a fully accurate capture of our people and our work can’t be maximized without that foundation.
  2. We have been too limited in the definitions of diversity we have used. We need to expand from the US government definition of diversity and create something broader to reflect diversity of backgrounds, geography, cultures, and perspectives.
  3. Our data and insights are too US-centric. We’re a global company and every local market has diversity priorities and challenges. We have not done enough to dive into the racial diversity in offices around the world. There are legal restrictions around what data can be captured but we believe through prioritization we can find time and resources against this.

Our data: what we’re doing about it

  1. Self-identification (self-ID) refresh

    We are doing a full refresh of our self-ID process, expanding the scope of what we collect to include sexual orientation, gender identity, disabilities, and military status. We will also communicate internally to raise the visibility of its importance. We plan to update the process for our US market in June and address non-US markets in the latter half of 2019.
  2. New anonymous surveys with definitions

    Secondly, in Q3 we will launch an anonymous survey to all Tweeps around the world. It is an opportunity to collect even more self-ID information via survey questions.

    Some categories we are considering either expanding or which will be new include: Gender; Race/Ethnicity; Sexual Orientation; Gender Identity; Military Status; Disability Status; Nationality; Family/Caregiver Status.

    The self-ID refresh coupled with the anonymous survey will help us arrive at our most accurate composite of employee representation to date. We will report our findings in a future quarterly report.
  3. Hire international-focused diversity lead

    Finally, we will add an international diversity lead to our I&D team. We have begun scoping the needs of our global offices, and this role will be fully-dedicated to inclusion and diversity, market to market.
This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.


New Leadership team goals and targets
While we have company-level diversity targets, we are now committing to individual Leadership (“Staff”) level goals.

In Q3, we will set targets for women, black, and Latinx for each executive team leader and their orgs. We believe this direct accountability will help drive progress in mindset and outcomes. We will also be refreshing the org-specific A.I.R. plans (attract, include, retain) to be customized to each team’s new targets for Women, Black, and Latinx populations. These are to be completed in Q3.

New company performance goals for 2020 and beyond
Also in the latter half of 2019, we will review how we reward our leaders that make I&D a priority within their own teams.

Diversifying supplier base
We will also be incorporating accountability into how we drive towards a more diverse set of suppliers.

In April, we hired our first Supplier Inclusion & Diversity Manager within the Finance team, Kristen Hickey.

A first area of focus is women-owned businesses, and we will look to intersect with other certified diverse businesses. We recently joined the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the US and a leading advocate for women business owners and entrepreneurs.

In the latter half of 2019, the Supplier I&D team will be incorporating supplier inclusion efforts into how we buy at Twitter. We expect to define longer term objectives and key results in Q3.

This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.


The recruiting team has been partnering with I&D and the business on ways to generate a more diverse pipeline, while still keeping a focus on the foundational systems and process work that needs to get addressed.  We are installing new tools and systems that will allow us to build and track talent pipelines and referrals more effectively and providing improved candidate experiences. We also expect our decentralization work will support diversity hiring efforts over time, particularly by opening up candidate pools in locations with a more diverse population.

We have recently hired a new head of eng recruiting with a strong background in technical and diversity recruiting and we are recruiting for a Director of Diversity Recruiting to drive efforts across all parts of the recruitment org.  Efforts currently underway include internal batch hiring days, fast follow up on candidates from Industry/BRG events and sourcing/referral jams, pilot hiring efforts for nontraditional hires (e.g., Associate SWE program), and competitive/SWAT efforts on opportunistic hires (e.g., diverse candidates, mass layoffs in a skillset, etc.).  

This year, we will also provide more training for hiring managers and recruiters on effective diversity sourcing and eliminating bias from the process. We are also partnering closely with the People Analytics team to arrive at ways to measure diversity within our funnels. This will allow us to understand where drop-off is occurring and identify where we need to make improvements.

We are also moving toward implementing policies that would require hiring managers to be presented with a diverse slate of candidates for certain roles moving forward. We expect to land on any changes in Q3 and will share those details in a future report.

This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.


Our goal is to ensure our company reflects our service by building the processes, training, and tools that underpin a healthy workplace and help Tweeps grow:

Upcoming new programs include:

  • NEW healthy conversations training: global workshops in Q2 to arm all Tweeps with the skills and tools to have authentic, respectful conversations
  • NEW updated bias training: Twitter bias training in Q3 based on completion of an in-depth needs analysis to understand how to identify bias, how to reduce it, and what to do if we see it
  • EXPANDED investment in female leaders: a WELead program aimed at mid-level female leaders (Level 6-7) and a new Stanford Women's Executive program aimed at senior leaders (Level 8+)
  • TEST AND LEARN mentor program: Finance is piloting a new system to scale mentoring across the company so we can access and share critical skills and expertise. We will assess ability to scale this across the company for 2020.
This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.

Product and Partnerships

Inclusion and diversity must be reflected in the products we build, and the partnerships we forge:

Machine Learning Ethics, Transparency, and Accountability (META)
Earlier this year we created the META (Machine Learning Ethics, Transparency, and Accountability) team. Their focus includes:

  • Defining and measuring fairness in our algorithmic decisions by building the necessary tooling
  • Establishing best practices for algorithmic transparency and accountability. Promoting the adoption of fairness by design, i.e., a set of fairness concerns injected at every stage of ML driven software development
  • Providing the framework to understand bias in our systems and drive its adoption across Twitter
  • Communicating the latest research and Twitter specific cases of biases to our ML practitioners and the company at large
  • Maintaining a healthy relationship with the research community. This includes sponsoring conferences, hosting researchers (fellowships), and more

META is supported by our academic partners Professor Moritz Hardt and Professor Ben Recht (who have been retained as part-time consultants) and was funded as a strategic investment by Engineering.

Last year, several Tweeps formed a group called Accessibility Shepherds to help drive awareness of accessibility issues faced by those that use Twitter, as well as those that work at Twitter.

In recent months, the Accessibility Shepherds have taught internal classes and engaged with product teams to raise awareness and answer questions on the topic of accessibility. Our Engineering and Product teams have been working on improvements for client accessibility (iOS, Android, web).

In 2019, the Accessibility Shepherds will be formalizing as a Business Resource Group (BRG), developing training materials for our engineering teams, and also exploring early conversations around product enhancements that benefit this space.

Diversity Partnerships
In March, Candi Castleberry Singleton took on the new role of overseeing our Diversity Partnership Strategy & Engagement.  The Diversity Partnership Strategy (DPS) is focused on building trust, advancing inclusivity in our industry, and diverse communities. Introductory meetings with partners have been underway.

This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.


Tweeps play a critical and active role in building an inclusive and diverse Twitter. Here are some Q1 highlights.

Throughout March, April, and May our leaders have been connecting with local Tweeps and their communities on the #TweepTour. So far they have visited Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, Detroit, Toronto, Chicago, LA, Seattle, Boulder, Mexico, Sao Paulo, and Cambridge, with many more stops planned in June.

The tour has been well received and a source of great learning and insights for our leaders with common themes emerging, including questions around decentralization, how we can build greater global mindset, and key insights on culture.

Business Resource Groups
In February, @Blackbirds executed an end-to-end plan for Black History Month which included hosting fireside chats with black leaders and creatives, welcoming guest chefs specializing in the flavors and traditions of African Diaspora, and celebrating black women throughout history via the #WallForACause event with NY-based artist Keebs. In London, Blackbirds partnered with Black Girls Book Club on a #DopeDiscussion chat and also hosted a screening with The Mother Drum about their diaspora film series.

This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.
This post is unavailable.

@TwitterWomen hosted 60+ events across 23 offices during the month of March in celebration of International Women’s Day (March 8) and Women’s History Month (March in the US). Highlights included a #SheInspiresMe wall in all offices and a VIT visit from @ChelseaClinton. On our platform, there were 11.9M Tweets with the hashtag #SheInspiresMe, which activated the women’s symbol emoji with translations in 19 languages.

This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.
This post is unavailable.

@TwitterALAS recently participated in the #TweepTour in Mexico and Brazil where there is much excitement in activating events and experiences in both countries. ALAS also hosted a three-day immersive tech experience for young women (in partnership with MindGirl by Mindot) and inked a deal to partner with Recruiting & Women of ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals for America).

This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.
This post is unavailable.

In 2019, @TwitterAsians is focused on going global.  Growing beyond the community which began in our North American offices, we are extremely proud to now have @TwitterAsians Leads in 12 offices worldwide including Singapore, Tokyo, Manila, Bangalore, Delhi, and Mumbai.  Q1 kicked off with 15+ Lunar New Year celebrations and a march in the Chinese New Year Parade.

@TwitterOpen co-hosted two intersectional events. The first was a Lunch & Learn co-hosted by @TwitterParents with Dr. Guy Ringler, who spoke of fertility, surrogacy and other family-building options for the LGBTQ community. The second event was a fireside chat co-hosted by @TwitterAsians with California State Assemblymember Evan Low, who made history by being the youngest openly LGBT mayor in the United States at the age of 26. The team is gearing up for an amazing Pride Month this June, complete with events and experiences across our global offices.

@TwitterStripes participated in a number of intersections events with other BRGs including Blackbirds and Twitter Women during their affinity months. Additionally, Stripes worked closely with Twitter For Good to host various events for veterans and tech industry partners.

BRG action plans
We asked our BRGs to prioritize the problems they are facing at Twitter. We are underway with follow-up sessions and aligning on plans that address each BRGs unique needs and asks. Elements of those plans include:

  • Recognizing value: ensuring the positive impact delivered each day by the BRGs is recognized and rewarded as part of our performance review process
  • #notapipelineproblem: building a process through which the amazing people introduced to Twitter via BRG channels do not get “lost in the shuffle”; we commit to proactively follow through and leverage this talent pool when sourcing for future roles
  • Event support: developing end-to-end playbooks and providing resources to support the BRGs with large cross-functional efforts such as Black History Month and International Women’s Day

As a further step, the People leadership team has set up a recurring weekly sync with the objective of deep diving into attract and retain efforts for our women, black, and Latinx communities. This level of focus and attention is expected to set the tone and pace needed to make a real change.

This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.

What’s Next?

We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us and will be listening to our Tweeps, and your feedback. We believe these quarterly updates will spark conversations and actions needed for change — at Twitter and beyond. We’ll be back in three months!

This post is unavailable
This post is unavailable.