A study revealing gender bias at Facebook, and a subsequent internal investigation, reportedly has engineers of two minds about the potential implications.
The Wall Street Journal revealed more details about the study and investigation, compiled last year. A former Facebook engineer used five years’ worth of data to show that female engineers at Facebook have their code rejected during review 35-percent more than male engineers. They also waited 3.9-percent longer for review and got 8.2-percent more comments. This would seem to suggest that the women’s work was being more heavily scrutinized, if not rejected out of hand.
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Facebook conducted its own internal investigation in response, and reassured its employees that the rejections had nothing to do with the employee’s gender, but with rank. Facebook used its own internal ranking system, while the former employee used time employed in their study.
Of course, employees still weren’t satisfied. Some suggested that women were being held at levels where their code was likely to be rejected due to rank alone, rather than merit.
Both studies sound potentially biased. However, last year (when both studies were compiled), women made up just 17-percent of Facebook’s tech-based employees. It’s not difficult to see why this vastly-outnumbered subset of engineers would not want their work held to a higher standard than the remaining 83-percent of their colleagues.
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