Twitter's Wish List for Women

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Last summer, Twitter, along with several other tech companies, released data on the gender and ethnicity of its employees, confirming what everyone already knew: Men far outnumber women in tech jobs. And at Twitter, 90 percent of employees worldwide were male.

On Friday, Twitter said it’s trying to change that.

“We want the makeup of our company to reflect the vast range of people who use Twitter,” wrote Janet Van Huysse, vice president for Twitter’s diversity department in a blog post. More than 60 percent of Twitter’s users are female.

Van Huysse says that by 2016, Twitter aims to increase the representation of women in its global workforce to 35 percent. It has also pledged to bring the representation of women in tech roles to 16 percent, and women in leadership roles to 25 percent.

The blog post outlines a few strategies for doing this, something that, as my colleague Adrienne wrote, was missing last summer when Twitter and its fellow tech giants publicized demographic data. “Assuming the goal is to get to 50/50—workforce representation that reflects the gender makeup in the real world—how long could that take? And by what means?” she wrote back then. “What kind of commitment can we expect from tech companies to keep us posted about their progress?”

All great questions. We’ll check in on Twitter in about five months. For another kind of gender disparity on Twitter, read Jessica Bennett on why men are retweeted more often than women, from our June magazine, here.