London: Women employees at the social networking giant Facebook are often told not to wear “revealing” dresses that may “distract” co-workers, a former Facebook employee has claimed in his book. According to a report in The Telegraph, Antonio Garcia Martinez who worked at Facebook before being fired, made these allegations in his book titled “Chaos Monkeys.”
“Our male HR authority, with occasional backup from his female counterpart, launched into a speech about avoiding clothing that ‘distracted’ coworkers. I’d later learn that managers did in fact occasionally pull aside female employees and read them the riot act,” Martinez claimed.
The Facebook team is still dominated by white and Asian men. Diversity improved only marginally although Facebook added 2897 employees this year, TechCrunch reported last year, citing the company’s latest demographic report. The 10,082-person company has only one percent more women as a share of all employees than a year ago despite a 40 percent increase in the head count.
Ex-Facebook workers have claimed that allegations of sexism are not taken seriously. “One such example happened in [the advertising department], with an intern who looked about sixteen coming in regularly in booty shorts. It was almost laughably inappropriate, but such was our disinhibited age,” Martinez wrote in his book.
Martinez also claimed that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is prone to angry outbursts. “After an unknown employee leaked details of a new feature to the press, Zuckerberg reportedly emailed the entire office with the subject line ‘Please resign’, claiming that the person in question had betrayed the team,” The report said, citing Martinez.
A Facebook spokesperson did not comment on Martinez’ allegations, the report added. In a blog post about the demographic report, Facebook had admitted, “It’s clear to all of us that we still are not where we want to be”. “Cognitive diversity or diversity of thought matters because we are building a platform that currently serves 1.4 billion people around the world. It is vital for us to have a broad range of perspectives including people of different genders, races, ages, sexual orientations, characteristics and points of view,” the blog read.
“Having a diverse workforce is not only the right thing to do – it is the smart thing to do for our business.” The company has launched several initiatives to improve diversity, out of which the most noticeable is its diverse slate approach, which aims to “present hiring managers with at least one qualified candidate who is a member of an under represented group to fill any open role”.