By Stacey Scolinos
As of late, the public has heard murmurs of Facebook’s declining capital and struggle to keep up with updated Skype features and the messaging app Whatsapp. But what others neglect to mention in all this hubbub, is the startlingly low number of females working for the company and participating in key decisions. I spoke with Eric Antonow, the company’s product marketing director for user experience to learn how Facebook plans to deal with the disparity.
SS: Mr. Antonow, what do you think of the reports that Facebook and the tech world in general is not inclusive of women?
EA: Clearly women are underrepresented at Facebook. Tech is a field that is really male-dominated, and while I believe that any program introducing women to the field is key, I also believe that opportunities for women in color are important as well. We need more women educated for tech professions.
SS: How do you think women’s participation in the field can be increased?
EA: I think a lot of the problem with have so few women in the field is lack of encouragement and opportunity. There need to be more scholarship programs, and I think it’s really important to expose girls to tech as early as elementary school, and continue this through secondary school.
SS: How do you propose to increase female representation in your own department?
EA: Well I have entire control of the hiring process. I will personally focus on integrating people of color into my office, as well as integrating females.
SS: Do you think this could lead to discriminatory hiring processes?
EA: Well no, I personally will not be hiring people who are unqualified. I see it now as a matter of getting more women into tech education in the first place, and then in regards to hiring, it’s an investment, and I’m sure that only qualified candidates will be hired in this field. This should be a good movement to make tech a more inclusive and friendly field.