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Facebook releases diversity numbers

Raul Arboleda | AFP | Getty Images

For the first time, Facebook is releasing its gender and ethnicity breakdown, in an effort to shed light on a lack of diversity that Silicon Valley companies are increasingly working to address.

Facebook announced "a variety of programs and strategies to help increase the overall pool of talent from underrepresented communities," in a blog post by Maxine Williams, Facebook's global head of diversity."This involves partnering with other organizations working to achieve the same goal, and developing new recruiting strategies to drive our search for talent and attract diverse candidates."

The company has a ways to go.

Facebook's total male/female split is 69 percent/31 percent. Its tech employees skew even more male—85 percent—while non-tech employees are more balanced, at 53 percent male. But the senior level skews more male again; 77 percent of all senior executives are male. These numbers are largely in line with Google's diversity—though it didn't release a breakdown of senior executives.

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The ethnicity breakdown finds that 53 percent of all Facebook employees are white, 34 percent are Asian, 4 percent are Hispanic, 2 percent are black, and 3 percent are two or more races. When looking just at Facebook's tech employees, a larger share—41 percent—are Asian. Senior management is less diverse—74 percent white, 19 percent Asian and 4 percent Hispanic.

Facebook joins Google and other Internet companies that struggle with the gender gap and lack of ethnic diversity. At Google's I/O conference Wednesday, Sundar Pichai kicked off the event by mentioning how many women were present, and how many women work at Google. Yahoo joined the trend last week and published its breakdown.

By CNBC's Julia Boorstin

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