Female tech workers, here's your golden opportunity. Facebook announced this week that they plan to hire 1,000 more employees this year, bringing their total workforce to 4,000 in the capital.
The announcement came from the social media giant's COO, Sheryl Sandberg, during a visit to a London event for small and medium-sized businesses.
Sandberg stated that over half of the jobs on offer will be high-skilled tech roles in software engineering, product design, product development and data science. The company will also be expanding its London teams working on artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality and engineering infrastructure. Other openings will arise in Facebook’s community integrity team, which is responsible for tracking down and deleting harmful content.
London is Facebook’s biggest engineering hub outside of the US and was the chosen destination for the Silicon Valley company's first European office a decade ago. At present Facebook has three office buildings in central London but is constructing a brand new UK headquarters at King’s Cross that will have 611,000 sq. ft of office space, fit for 6,000 staff. It will join a host of other big-name tenants at King's Cross, including Google, Samsung Electronics, Universal Music and Havas.
Facebook is no stranger to large expansion. Thanks to its aggressive acquisition strategy, it currently owns a variety of well-known companies. These include other major social platforms such as Instagram and WhatsApp, as well as tech companies Oculus VR and LiveRail. Facebook also has a keen eye on the emerging tech developments in Africa — they'll be headlining our Women in Tech Africa conference in March 2020 if you would like to find out more.
Announcing the investment, Sandberg commented: "The UK is a world leader in both innovation and creativity. That’s why I’m excited that we plan to hire an additional 1,000 people in London this year alone. London is home to Facebook’s biggest engineering hub outside the US and we’re committed to investing here for the long-term."
"Many of these high-skilled jobs will help us address the challenges of an open internet and develop artificial intelligence to find and remove harmful content more quickly. They will also help us build the tools that help small businesses grow, compete with larger companies and create new jobs."
The news has been warmly welcomed and used as evidence of the UK's thriving tech sector. Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded: "The UK is at the centre of tech growth and innovation, and is leading the way as the world’s biggest tech hub outside of Silicon Valley. It’s great news Facebook plans to create a thousand more jobs in London - yet another sign of the strength of our dynamic tech sector".
"The UK is successfully creating both homegrown firms at the forefront of cutting-age technologies, such as artificial intelligence, whilst attracting established global tech giants like Facebook. We are committed to making the UK the safest place in the world to be online, alongside being one of the best places for technology companies to be based."
London Mayor Sadiq Khan further stated: "London’s tech sector is a global success story and the 1,000 new jobs Facebook is creating shows that our city has the talent to attract tech companies of all sizes from across the world. Facebook’s commitment to growing its business in the capital demonstrates that London is open and remains at the forefront of tech innovation."
Women in tech, use this opportunity!
In 2019, Facebook declared that they wanted to "double our number of women globally", after their sixth annual diversity report showed that their global workforce was 63.1% male. The figure was even less equal when focussed on technical roles, which proved to be 77% male.
The gender gap at the company could be due to various external reasons, from a lack of girls studying STEM subjects at school, to women suffering from imposter syndrome and doubting their abilities too much to even apply.
Facebook's decision to create 1,000 new jobs in London should work in tandem with their diversity promise. So female tech workers, let the poor statistics work as motivation to help you pursue a job with the multi-billion-dollar company this year!
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