Twitter's Only Black Engineer In Leadership Role Quits Over Diversity Issues

News & Views | 11/09/2015 | 05:16 PM EST

(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Leslie Miley is told ‘diversity is important, but we can’t lower the bar’

Twitter's only Black engineer in a leadership role has left the company due to its diversity issues. 

Leslie Miley slammed the tech giant's practices for its resistance to diversifying its employee roster.

“I began to understand the challenge of improving diversity when the 1st Twitter Diversity reportillustrated just how much work needed to be done,” Miley wrote in an article published on Medium. “This is illustrated by the fact that even tho African-Americans and Hispanics make up > 30% of Twitters (US) monthly active users, <5% make up engineering and product management combined.

Miley says he long grew tired of being the lone ranking engineer of color, and was essentially shut down when he attempted to add more diversity to the company.

You Won't Believe How Many Blacks Work At Twitter

"A particularly low moment was having my question about what specific steps Twitter engineering was taking to increase diversity answered by the Sr. VP of Eng at the quarterly Engineering Leadership meeting," he writes. "When he responded with ‘diversity is important, but we can’t lower the bar.’ I then realized I was the only African-American in Eng leadership."

Miley says he worked on trying to bring more people of color to the company following the return of Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey as CEO. He pitched a job proposal purely focused on increasing diversity in engineering to the senior vice president of engineering. He was told the proposal was unrealistic, resulting in his decision to resign.

“With my departure, Twitter no longer has any managers, directors, or VP’s of color in engineering or product management,” says Miley.

“From this position, Twitter may find it difficult to make the changes to culture and product.”

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