• Editor-in-Chief

Facebook: Diversity And Inclusion

By: Anne O.

What is an individual life worth? Do all lives have equal value? What determines the value of a life and all that is attached to it? Do black lives matter? Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explained how people (regardless of race) are motivated to achieve certain needs, even though some needs take precedence over others. Humans’ most basic need is for physical survival, making this the first thing which motivates behavior. After fulfilling that level, we then level up. Each need motivates us, and so on. If money is the connecting factor for all standard human needs, how can anyone get money without a job? In a 2015 interview with USA Today, Facebook's global director of diversity Maxine Williams disclosed 2% of Facebook employees are American Blacks. In 2017, CNBC asked Williams “Why are the numbers so low?” She replied, "It's complicated." It would appear Black lives don’t matter to Facebook.

As mentioned above, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explained how people (regardless of race) are motivated to achieve certain needs, even though some needs take precedence over others. Starting from the bottom and moving upward to the top of the pyramid ensures everyone has the same overall goal to maintain peace and happiness. Every human needs these eight things to live a meaningful life according to Maslow:

1. Biological and physiological needs - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep, etc.

2. Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, etc.

3. Love and belongingness needs - friendship, intimacy, trust, and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Affiliating, being part of a group (family, friends, work).

4. Esteem needs - which Maslow classified into two categories: (i) esteem for oneself (dignity, achievement, mastery, independence) and (ii) the desire for reputation or respect from others (e.g., status, prestige).

5. Cognitive needs - knowledge and understanding, curiosity, exploration, need for meaning and predictability.

6. Aesthetic needs - appreciation and search for beauty, balance, form, etc.

7. Self-actualization needs - realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

8. Transcendence needs - A person is motivated by values which transcend beyond the personal self (e.g., mystical experiences and certain experiences with nature, aesthetic experiences, sexual experiences, service to others, the pursuit of science, religious faith, etc.)

Through examining cultures in which large numbers of people live in poverty (such as India), it is clear people are still capable of higher order needs such as love and belongingness.

According to Maslow, people who have difficulty achieving very basic physiological needs (such as food, shelter, etc.) are still capable of reaching higher growth needs. However, does a deficit in psychological needs lead to a lack of safety needs (financial resources)? Is this due to discrimination? Is it related to the lack of higher education?

Today’s STEM workforce is more racially and ethnically diverse than it was 25 years ago, blacks and Hispanics remain underrepresented in the field. Blacks and Hispanics made up 27% of the total U.S. workforce in 2016, but only accounted for 16% of those working in STEM jobs, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Diversity experts say the percentage of each demographic group that remains with a company each year could be the most telling data with which to gauge how inclusive a workplace is.

It is no secret, Facebook hires very small numbers of African and Latino Americans. Refusing to hire qualified candidates because of their race is current proof of racial discriminations existence. If a person of color can't work and can't earn a living, it is difficult to maintain Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The livelihood of American black people is, therefore, not a priority. Hence, black lives don't matter to Facebook.

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