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TWITTER ENGINEERING SVP ALEX ROETTER ON DIVERSITY: “WE HAVE BLIND SPOTS”

IN A MEDIUM POST, ROETTER APOLOGIZED FOR HIS COMMENTS ABOUT DIVERSITY AT TWITTER, WHICH WERE DISCLOSED THIS WEEK BY A FORMER EMPLOYEE.

Earlier this week, a former Twitter employee took to Medium to disclose that he left his job because he felt diversity was not being made a priority at the company. As Twitter’s sole black engineer in a leadership role, Leslie Miley wrote that he wondered “how and why a company whose product has been used as an agent of revolutionary social change did not reflect the diversity of thought, conversation, and people in its ranks.”

Miley specifically singled out engineering SVP Alex Roetter: In response to a question Miley posed about increasing diversity in Twitter’s engineering sector, Roetter allegedly said that “diversity is important, but we can’t lower the bar.” Roetter also suggested that, to see where job candidates were being weeded out, Miley could create a name analysis tool that would use their last name to determine ethnicity. This idea was, to Miley, a huge oversimplification that ignored “the complex forces of history, colonization, slavery and identity.”

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posted in: Blogging, Diversity, News, Personal

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