More great news for women: a panel of diversity hiring experts at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Next Gen Conference in San Francisco gave American companies a C- in their efforts to hire and promote women. As Deborah Liu, a VP for Facebook, puts it, “It’s not just the pipeline—it’s bringing women in, it’s training them and then it’s retaining them over time.”
Okay, Deborah Liu of Facebook, how about you not think of training women as a burden? How about it’s something important because the more women you train, the more that will trickle down? Sorry, but I call bullshit on any statement from anyone at Facebook. They have an enormous reach, enormous staff, and tons of money. This means they can hire as many women as they want — but they choose not to because it’s easier for them.
Fine, fine, fine. Liu and her panel came up with some ways to raise that C minus. First, they say to interview diverse candidates. There’s a requirement at Facebook called the Rooney Rule, which started in the NFL and requires hiring managers to bring at least one female or minority candidate. The second is to introduce candidates to role models. Studies show that if a smart woman comes into a job interview and everyone she meets is a dude, she’s going to bounce. What sane woman wants to deal with a room full of mansplaining men?
The third idea is to have more flexible policy that helps families. This is obviously crucial. If you walk into an interview and there’s no talk of flexibility, that’s a problem. Shockingly, these kinds of unrealistic expectations still continue. Lastly, they talk about starting some of these policies from the top.
Mark Zuckerberg’s two-month paternity leave was a big deal for good reason! It sent a message from the top: you’re allowed to prioritize your family.