Pinterest wants to implement Rooney Rule for a more diverse Pinterest

Digital scrapbooking company Pinterest is moving towards diversity in its business. It has promoted uniformity in terms of gender and minority groups.

The up-and-coming e-commerce platform has revealed its hiring goals for the year 2016. It aims to introduce more women and minorities into its existing workforce. The co-founder of the multi-billion dollar firm Evan Sharp posted in a blog about Pinterest’s future hiring plans to give importance to underrepresented backgrounds. He states that not much progress has been made since 2013 when engineers had initiated the “where are the numbers?” program. According to him, the reason for this is that companies do not state specific hiring goals.

Evan highlights their achievements since 2014 by revealing a few figures: female employees growing from 40% to 42%, engineering interns increasing from 32% to 36% female, and women engineers hired out of school increasing from 28% to 33%.

The firm’s global and ethnicity ‘Tech’ data which includes engineering (U.S. only) has 60% Asian, 35% White population with a mere 21% female strength compared to 79% male dominance.

The San Francisco based company stated its 2016 goals in the blog. They include an increment in the hiring of full-time engineers with 30% females and 8% underrepresented ethnic backgrounds. In addition to this, the firm will also increase the hiring of underrepresented ethnic backgrounds for non-engineering roles by 12%. The highlight of the program is the ‘Rooney-Rule requirement’ initiative. This involves the interview of at least one person from an underrepresented background, and one female candidate is interviewed for every open leadership position.

The steps Pinterest is going to take are also chalked out in the blog. Pinterest will work with a strategy and consulting firm Paraigm to set up Inclusion Labs at Pinterest, exclusively to experiment with new ways to improve diversity. Evan says that they will initiate programs for sophomore and freshman students for early identification of interns from underrepresented backgrounds. The company will also involve all employees in the training program to avoid bias.

Apart from these initiatives, Pinterest is also planning to enable an engineer to lead a mentor training program to empower Black software engineers and students. The company aims to update users with their progress with the hiring plans. By doing so, it says it is holding itself completely responsible and accountable for its actions. The long term goal is stated by Sharp in the blog. He says: “Over time, we hope to help build an industry that is truly diverse, and by extension more inclusive, creative and effective.”