THE RESULTS OF of an internal study at Facebook reportedly suggest that the company more frequently rejects code delivered by female engineers than men. It, however, thinks there's a different reason behind the figures.
The report, published by The Wall Street Journal, cites the ever-present "people familiar with the matter", as well as confirming it has seen screenshots of the internal discussions about the issue.
Overall, the study suggests that female employees have code rejected up to 35 percent more frequently.
The situation appears to have grown out of an informal study into code submissions and the peer review process as a whole within Facebook, which in itself was based on the findings of a former employee that found female engineers' work was accepted less frequently than male colleagues. Facebook, at the time, said this was an "innaccurate" study.
"Any meaningful discrepancy based on the complete data is clearly attributable not to gender but to seniority of the employee," it said.
"In fact, the discrepancy simply reaffirms a challenge we have previously highlighted - the current representation of senior female engineers both at Facebook and across the industry is nowhere near where it needs to be."
Noentheless, as a result, the company commissioned its own official internal study by its head of infrastructure Jay Parikh. This second research project didn't exactly reach the same conclusions about code rejection - suggesting that the variance was due to seniority, rather than gender - but raised separate questions.
For example, if women are ultimitely committing less code successfully due to seniority, why are there not more women in more senior technical positions within the company?
The resurfacing of potential gender bias issues is likely to particularly sting for Facebook, as it makes quite a lot of noise about its various diversity efforts.
The result of those efforts, however, is a workforce that has just 17 perc ent of its technical positions filled by women.
In a diversity report published in July last year, Facebook said that women filled 27 percent of leadership positions across the company as a whole. µ
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