In hopes of better reflecting its audience, Twitter has hired a new Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity, according to USA Today.
Candi Castleberry-Singleton, who has been working in the inclusion and diversity field for years, is set to replace previous V.P. Jeffrey Siminoff, who stepped down in February.
Castleberry-Singleton has a diverse range of experience in her field. She’s also accustomed to working for large corporations: she previously served as vice president of global inclusion and diversity at Motorola. At Sun Microsystems she led a similar effort, contributing to the company’s Global Inclusion Center of Expertise.
“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.”
A native of Los Angeles, Castleberry-Singleton received a bachelor’s degree in legal studies from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Pepperdine University. She also finished the Stanford University Executive Human Resources program.
Castleberry-Singleton’s most recent work, however, involves collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to develop the Dignity and Respect Campaign. Considering the fact that emergency room visits now number approximately 110 million annually, one could easily argue that hospitals are some of the most important places to prioritize diversity, seeing as their patients come from all different backgrounds and ethnicities. That being said, Castleberry-Singleton sees diversity as a primary business goal that all companies should strive for.
“When that is the case, people will find ways to solve the challenges of diversity. Just as important, they will watch for and respond to the social identity cues that show that inclusion is a core task, and not a peripheral one,” she wrote in a chapter of Crossing the Divide: Intergroup Leadership in a World of Difference.
As Silicon Valley comes under fire for sexual harassment and its homogenous culture, diversity and inclusion are becoming priorities for social media sites. An estimated 23% of Facebook users check their account at least five times a day, and many young social media users expect to see companies like Facebook and Twitter embrace inclusion. In short, many users believe Silicon Valley companies should be as diverse as their users. Twitter is also especially popular with African Americans — 28% of African American Internet users are also active Twitter users.
Ultimately, diversity is becoming an increasingly prioritized aspect of many business models, and the trend looks as though it’s here to stay, at least for Twitter. Last year, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said, “We are not going to be relevant unless we are inclusive, unless we are representative of who we serve.”
Dorsey’s philosophy regarding diversity is heavily on par with Castleberry-Singleton’s, who wrote, “only when leaders make the case that diversity equals increased value to owners, employees, and customers can diversity become a part of the company’s identity and a core strand of its strategy and objectives. If it is important to corporate leaders, it will be important to employees.”