When Mark S.Luckie wrote a lengthy internal memo, explaining how difficult it was to be black and employed at Facebook Inc., he expected some sort of change or at least a reply from the CEO or COO.” fACEBOOK’S DISENFRANCHISEMENT OF BLACK PEOPLE ON THE PLAT FROM MIRRORS THE MARGINALIZATION OF ITS BLACK EMPLOYEES,” HE WORTE.” rACIAL DISCRIMINATION AT fACEBOOK IS REAL.”Instead, he got a private message from Ime Archibong, one of the highest-level black employees at Facebook, saying Luckie’s experience may not be representative, and taking it personally.
“I guess I’m just confused and pretty hurt because I voted for your hire, was inspired by your willingness to strengthen the community, and that post just seems so out of character, “Archibog wrote. Frustrated, Luckie went public. He posted both his memo and Archibong,s response on social media on Tuesday, feeling that it would be impossible to change Facebook without more pressure. Now, he said, he’s leaving the technology industry and moving to Atlanta.
“I tired,” he said in an interview.”I’ve been hired by these companies because I bring experience and perspective and productivity and insight into these underrepresented communities.But every time I get in, there’s no line for me to actually do what I want to get down.”In the post, Luckie, who worked as a partnerships manager for a year, described the ways in which the social network excludes black users and employees.
Current and former workers at big technology companies are increasingly willing to speak out publicly about perceived missteps by their employers and unjust policies. This has gathered steam in recent months as the industry has been accused of abusing its power. Google staffers signed an open letter on Tuesday urging the company to scrap plans for a Chinese Serch product that would censor results.
Facebook’s top executives didn’t respond to Luckie, but they have had to handle other workforce blowups this year. Employees were frustrated when a public policy executive made a show of support for Brett Kavanaugh in a contentious Senate hearing on Kavanaugh’s supreme court nomination. And in a recent Q&A with company leadership, workers quizzed management about a report that the company paid a firm to conduct opposition research on billionaire George Soros. Facebook released a statement on Tuesday addressing Luckie’s memo.
“We’ve been working diligently to increase the range of perspectives among those who build our products and serve the people who use them throughout the world,” Facebook spokesman Anthony Harrison said.”The growth in the representation of people from more diverse groups, working in many different functions across the company, is a key driver of our ability to succeed.”Archibong later posted on Twitter, too; We all have diverse experiences and I can,t speak for your personal experience at FB but your experience is not my experience and not that of many other hares.”Fore percent of Facebook’s US workforce is black.