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Twitter's New Vice President of Diversity Is a 'Middle-Aged White Guy

Business

Ever since the blue bird switched its iconic “favorite” button to the universally recognized “like” heart, the company has shown that it’s okay with at least some forms of homogeneity.

The logo of social networking website 'Twitter' is displayed on a computer screen in London on September 11, 2013. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Twitter’s former vice president of diversity, Janet Van Huysse, announced her departure Monday, calling the company “a force for good in the word.”

Jeffery Siminoff, the social media platform's new diversity chief, comes from Apple, where he served for two years as director of worldwide inclusion and diversity. The Duke and Emory grad’s credentials are stellar. There’s only one potential problem in the eyes of many observers: He’s a white male.

After losing its only black engineer serving in a leadership position back in October, Twitter has had a tough time trying to convince the public that it is diverse.

Leslie Miley, who left Twitter amidst a sweep of layoffs, wrote a blog post shortly after detailing the main reason for his departure.

“There was very little diversity in thought and almost no diversity in action,” Miley wrote.

During his time at Twitter, Miley became a champion for diversity and inclusion:

There were also the Hiring Committee meetings that became contentious when I advocated for diverse candidates. Candidates who were dinged for not being fast enough to solve problems, not having internships at ‘strong’ companies and who took too long to finish their degree. Only after hours of lobbying would they be hired. Needless to say, the majority of them performed well.

Though Miley saw the potential for Twitter to empower and engage minorities in social justice movements and dialogue (he mentioned the widely used #Ferguson and #BlackLivesMatter), there was a diversity void on the company’s corporate end.

Twitter’s 2014 diversity report revealed that the company is 70 percent male and 59 percent white.

Ever since the blue bird switched its iconic “favorite” button to the universally recognized “like” heart, the company has shown that it’s okay with at least some forms of homogeneity.

So far, the Twitter-sphere has already voiced some disapproval of the company’s new hire, though many of the critics are also white:

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