(I’m in Colorado and I’m a woman… – promoted by Pita)
As Facebook prepares to go public, 58% of its users lack representation on the world’s largest social network’s executive board. In addition to comprising most of its user base, women are responsible for 62% of sharing through Facebook network. Despite the importance of women to Facebook’s success, there’s still not a single woman on the board, a fact that has prompted new pro-equality organization UltraViolet to circulate a petition demanding diversity on the all-male BoD.
Despite having the well-respected and overtly pro-equality Sheryl Sandberg as second in command, Facebook remains behind the curve on women’s issues.
For instance, after years of complaints from mothers and their advocates, Facebook still sometimes suspends the accounts of women who post breastfeeding photos. It’s not hard to tell the difference between pornography and feeding an infant, but apparently the distinction frequently escapes Facebook’s content moderation staff. Of course, that staff is allegedly paid $1 per hour to remove offensive images like “camel toes.” (Of course, post a picture of Michael Phelps in a Speedo, and you’re in the clear–only the outlines of female genitals are obscene!)
Would appointing a woman to the board cure these deficiencies overnight? Of course not. If Sheryl Sandberg, known around the world for her support of women in business, can’t make a difference, one female board member won’t. But an all-male board for a company driven primarily by female users is inexcusable in 2012. Appointing women to Facebook’s board isn’t just a step in the right direction; it’s a choice that should be viewed as mandatory, prior to what may be the largest IPO in history.