Twitter Loses Leslie Miley, Company’s Only African-American Engineering Lead


There are plenty of factors that wear on the nerves of anyone guessing at the future of Twitter, like its new “Moments” tab, changes in the user interface or how it’s ever going to make any money. But for the platform that gave haven to uprisings in the Middle East and the Black Lives Matter movement, the biggest question might be how Twitter plans to be a little less white, and a little more like the people who actually use Twitter.

Twitter lost its only African-American engineering lead, who published a damning blog post Tuesday about Twitter’s diversity problems. Leslie Miley was caught in the most recent round of Twitter layoffs but claims that he was already on his way out, and turned down his severance package so that he could speak up about what he saw as systemic diversity problems.

Through recent leadership changes, Miley saw lip service — and even tangible goals — paid to the target of making Twitter a more inclusive workplace. But after failed engineering projects meant to bring in diverse candidates and a few tone-deaf meetings, Miley’s hopes waned.

“Each of these moments caused me to rethink what role I was playing at Twitter and in tech and how I could participate in dismantling what I describe as the diversity problem in tech,” Miley writes on Medium. “I want to be a leader in eliminating environments where I am the only African-American in engineering leadership.”

This isn’t the first time Twitter has lost an employee of color over diversity issues. Mark Luckie, Twitter’s former manager of journalism and news, left the company back in May over lack of minority representation in Silicon Valley.

“The deficiency of people of color is a complex and cyclical problem that should be addressed at every point?—?from education and recruitment to employee retention,” Luckie wrote on Medium at the time. “This change will require more than posting a hashtag in a public venue or darkening the color of a logo on a T-shirt.”

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Source: | Jack Smith IV