Martha Lane Fox joins Twitter's board to promote diversity

CEO Jack Dorsey commits to "represent the strong communities on Twitter" in board appointments

Twitter has appointed UK entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox and Pepsi CFO Hugh Johnston to its board after the departure of former members Peter Currie and Peter Chernin.

Baroness Lane Fox is the co-founder of travel website, member of the House of Lords, and chairwoman of diversity-focused UK organisation Doteveryone, which is working to promote understanding of digital technologies.

Currie and Chernin's terms will end in May following the company's annual meeting, according to Reuters.

Jack Dorsey, chief executive officer at Twitter, wrote in a series of tweets posted on Friday: "Welcome @Marthalanefox and @hughjohnston to the @Twitter board! And thanks to @plscurrie and @PeterChernin for all your years of service!

Advertisement - Article continues below

"More additions to the board soon, ones that will bring diversity and represent the strong communities on Twitter. This matters & is a must."

Announcing the news, Lane Fox tweeted: "I'm joining the board of @twitter Thanks @jack @omidkordestani I can't wait. Best. Job. Ever. Watch out silicon valley :-))".

Twitter was notably criticised for its lack of diversity in November last year, and has since made an effort to change.

Following a blog post written by former engineering manager Leslie Miley in which she criticised the lack of women and people of colour in Twitter's engineering and product division, senior vice president of engineering Alex Roetter responded: "I realise that we have blind spots, myself included.

"One of mine I that I have a tendency to default to engineering-driven, quantitative solutions. The issues Leslie raises require so much more than that. I've learned a lot this week."

The company pledged to increase underrepresented minorities to 11 per cent overall - nine per cent in tech roles and six per cent in leadership roles over the course of 2016.

Some Twitter users questioned the company's commitment to diversity, however.

Referring to those dubbed 'social justice warriors', user @RandomHero30 said: "Your company is falling apart, focus on product and not 1-sided social justice. Ditch the SJWs turned harassers."

Martha Lane Fox has spoken previously about "unconscious bias" in the industry, noting that their is a distinct lack of women in tech teams including product designers, coders, engineers and venture capitalists.

In January, she launched a new competition for female-led start-ups - 5050tech Challenge - which would give entrepreneurs access to mentors, investors and VCs.

Featured Resources

The IT Pro guide to Windows 10 migration

Everything you need to know for a successful transition

Download now

Managing security risk and compliance in a challenging landscape

How key technology partners grow with your organisation

Download now

Software-defined storage for dummies

Control storage costs, eliminate storage bottlenecks and solve storage management challenges

Download now

6 best practices for escaping ransomware

A complete guide to tackling ransomware attacks

Download now


Business strategy

The IT Pro Podcast: How upskilling can improve diversity

15 Nov 2019
Business strategy

Oracle underpaid women and minorities by over $400m, US says

23 Jan 2019

Most Popular

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft, not Amazon, is going to win the cloud wars

30 Nov 2019
Amazon Web Services (AWS)

What to expect from AWS Re:Invent 2019

29 Nov 2019
Business strategy

Huawei takes the US trade sanctions into its own hands

3 Dec 2019

Five signs that it’s time to retire IT kit

29 Nov 2019