Pinterest sets diversity targets

Pinterest on Thursday announced targets in 2016 to hire more women and minorities to the five-year-old company. 

Evan Sharp, one of the founders, announced in a blog post that the company would shoot to have women make up 30 percent of engineers. It would also aim to have 8 percent of engineers and 12 percent of non-engineers come from “underrepresented ethnic backgrounds,” including black and Hispanic people. 

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The online scrapbooking and social media company, valued at about $11 billion, will also require at least one woman and one person from an underrepresented background to be interviewed for every leadership position. 

The announcement comes as the Congressional Black Caucus has sought to highlight that black people — any minorities, more broadly — are vastly underrepresented in the industry. They have pushed for changes in the next five years. 

Three of those lawmakers are heading to Silicon Valley next week to plead their case to companies. While they are not scheduled to meet with Pinterest, they will visit with Apple, Google and others. 

Women and many minorities would still be underrepresented at the company if the targets are reached. But it would be a jump from where they are now. 

Nineteen percent of engineers are currently women, while Hispanics make up 1 percent of engineers and black people make up less than 1 percent. Engineers are most represented by Asian and white ethnicities. 

Women make up 16 percent of leadership positions at the company, while there are no black or Hispanic individuals represented. 

The company said it would launch early internship and mentorship programs, as well as work with the outside consulting firm Paradigm Strategies. It will also have employees take a training course to “prevent unconscious bias.”