Pinterest Models Diversity for Mobile App Developers

January 18, 2016 - 3 minutes read

Unicorn startup Pinterest recently ramped up the diversity discussion in Silicon Valley with their first ever hire for the Head of Diversity position. Former Catalyst employee Candice Morgan will be filling the role. The announcement comes following years of initiatives within the startup community aimed at opening up employment to candidates of all backgrounds — particularly in technical mobile app developer roles at mobile app development companies.

Pinterest first hit the headlines two years ago when web app developer Tracy Chou brought attention to the company’s remarkably low diversity — even by tech industry standards. While progress has been slow for the tech company when it comes to fighting their image (employment of women has only risen two percent according to company statements), Morgan’s track record promises to open up lots of opportunities for mobile app developers from all backgrounds.

Pinterest has also launched two new programs aimed at boosting diversity within the company, including an apprenticeship program and a summer internship program for students interested in becoming mobile app developers, web app developers, or general programmers.

Since July, Pinterest has also been partnered with a startup called Paradigm to self-analyze for key improvement areas when it comes to diversity in the mobile app development sphere. The partnership is working under the title Inclusion Labs and is set to tackle an ambitious road map: 30% more female hires, and a requirement to interview a certain percentage of minority and female candidates for all leadership positions.

Studies within Pinterest have largely been aimed at mobile app developers and other highly-skilled works in technical positions, revealing intriguing findings that could have a positive impact on the startup workforce as a whole — not just Pinterest. For example, studies showed that whiteboarding (high-pressure hand-coding as part of the application process for mobile app developers) was actually a poor indicator of coding ability for women. Women whose work on actual codebases matched the skill level of male counterparts were found to have performed poorly in whiteboarding tests, indicating that interview practices needed to focus more on real-world situations than high-pressure tactics.

If there’s one thing mobile app developers can count on, it’s that Pinterest will continue to be transparent as they tackle the diversity problem. The tech world — and thousands of New York mobile app developers — will be watching.

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