The Dropbox marketing team has recently been slammed by a photograph accompying the tweet "Diverity at Dropbox" shown below:
Personally, I'd like to stick my neck out here a bit for Dropbox.
Is it true that the photograph contains NO people of African or Latino descent?
Probably, judging by skin tone alone.
That said, in the six members featured, what other diversity is seen?
Frankly I'm not willing to play the game of attempting to identify racial origins of everyone in the picture but I can say that there are a significant number of women represented. A gender that is traditionally and notably under-represented in technology (for more, see my previous blog post on women in tech).
Further, if one were actually to click on the link associated with the tweet they would quickly recognize that the picture was taken at a senior women leaders networking event. I'm not saying it wouldn't have been great to see women of different skin tones also represented in this photo, but sometimes I fear that's all we look for when we are talking about "diversity."
Would everyone have let this slide if it was a picture of 3 black men and 3 white men? What about the Asian community? Hispanics? Women? Baby Boomers? Millennials?
Skin tone can't be our only focus.
If anyone bothered to read into the article posted with the tweet they would have come across the following:
- Over 75% of people using Dropbox today come from outside the US—with different needs and backgrounds
- For the second year, Dropbox was awarded a perfect score for LGBTQ equality on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI).
- Great Places to Work Institute recently named Dropbox a Best Workplace for Diversity and a Best Workplace for Asian Americans.
- Hiring across minority groups (including Asians, Hispanics, Blacks, and people of two or more races) comprised 45% of all new hires in 2016, up 5% from 2015 but still not where we want them to be
A picture may be worth 1000 words but that doesn't necessarily mean we are always finding the right words. Dropbox appears to be committed to hiring and retaining diverse employees from a multitude of perspectives. In the quick-to-judge world of twitter and soundbites that we are all a part of, let's remind ourselves to take pause now and then to appreciate that there is often more than first meets the eye.