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Twitter has hired Candi Castleberry-Singleton as its new VP of inclusion and diversity. It’s the latest move by the chief executive Jack Dorsey to make the social media platform more reflective of the demographics of its users.
Castleberry-Singleton replaces Jeffery Siminoff who stepped down in February. When Siminoff joined Twitter in 2015, the social media giant faced a backlash for hiring a white male to spearhead its diversity initiatives.
“I’m so excited to join the team at Twitter to lead inclusion and diversity efforts for employees and the Twitter community,” Castleberry-Singleton said in a statement. “I look forward to bringing what I’ve learned to Twitter.”
As part Dorsey’s pledge to make the social media platform more inclusive and mirror the demographics of its users, Dorsey chose Castleberry-Singleton to give Twitter more insight into its diverse users. Castleberry-Singleton, who has experience creating global inclusion and diversity initiatives for large corporations like Motorola and Sun Microsystems, considers herself a diversity and inclusion leader. In an interview in April she said she “gets up every day believing there are more good people in the world than bad people and there is more good in the world than evil.”
According to 2016 Pew Research Center, 27 percent of African-Americans and 25 percent of Latinos use Twitter, while 21 percent of Twitter users are White Americans. While the people who use the social media site come from diverse backgrounds, the people who work there are not. Like many other tech firms, the social media giant’s employee demographics are heavily skewed towards male, white, and Asian.
As the founder and CEO of Dignity and Respect Campaign, Castleberry-Singleton focuses on building cultural awareness and positive interactions between employees and the community. The Los Angeles native completed the Stanford University Executive Human Resources program after receiving her MBA from Pepperdine and a bachelor’s degree in legal studies from UC Berkeley. She began at Xerox with a background in sales and marketing.
With so much experience helping companies become more inclusive and build cultural awareness, Castleberry-Singleton says the key to a truly diverse company stems from the concept that diversity is a core business goal that is “built in, not bolted on.”
To build diversity into the company, Twitter has initiatives on its Inclusion and Diversity website that support the motto “Twitter is where inclusion lives” as Twitter strives to make their ”workplace and the decisions [they] make…are equally inclusive.” Twitter has platforms like @TwitterAlas, which allows Latino employees to impact at Twitter and interact with technologists to support Latinas working in tech. Twitter is also teaming up with communities, creating hashtags like #SheInspiresMe for International Women’s Day and supporting the LGBT community in tech.
Photo courtesy of Twitter
Follow Kennedy Crenshaw on Twitter@kennedy_crensha