Google’s lack of diversity ‘not where we want to be’
The search giant said the transparency about its workforce — the first disclosure of its kind in the largely white, male tech sector — is an important step toward change
The Associated Press
SAN JOSE, Calif. — In a groundbreaking disclosure, Google revealed Wednesday how very white and male its workforce is — just 2 percent of its Googlers are black, 3 percent are Hispanic, and 30 percent are women.
The search giant said the transparency about its workforce — the first disclosure of its kind in the largely white, male tech sector — is an important step toward change.
“Simply put, Google is not where we want to be when it comes to diversity,” Google Senior Vice President Laszlo Bock wrote in a blog.
The numbers were compiled as part of a report that major U.S. employers must file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Companies are not required to make the information public.
The gender divide is based on the roughly 44,000 people Google employed throughout the world at the start of this year.
The company didn’t factor about 4,000 workers at its Motorola Mobility division, which is being sold to China’s Lenovo Group for $2.9 billion.
The racial data is limited to Google’s roughly 26,600 workers in the U.S. as of August 2013.
In the coming months, Google said, it will work with the Kapor Center for Social Impact, a group that uses information technology to close gender and ethnic gaps in the Silicon Valley workforce.
The center will be organizing a Google-backed conference in California focusing on issues of technology and diversity.
Co-founder Freada Kapor Klein, who started the Level Playing Field Institute 13 years ago to teach and mentor black and Latino students in science and math, said Google is showing leadership “which has been sorely needed for a long time.”
Iris Gardner, a manager at nonprofit Code2040, which places black and Latino software engineering students in internships with top tech companies, said Google’s disclosure could mark a pivotal moment in the push to diversify Silicon Valley.
“It is a big deal for them to be transparent about something that most companies haven’t in the past been willing to share,” she said.