Thursday, May 29, 2014

Google Releases Diversity Data Showing Predominantly White Male Workforce

What can be considered a very clear example of the lack of diversity in the tech industry, Google's newly released workforce diversity data reveals it is predominantly white and male.

In a groundbreaking disclosure, Google revealed 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 Wednesday that 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 New York Post reported.

The company is not pleased with the findings of course, but it concedes it is facing these hard facts squarely to find a solution. “....we’re the first to admit that Google is miles from where we want to be—and that being totally clear about the extent of the problem is a really important part of the solution,” wrote Laszlo Bock, Google’s senior vice president for People Operations, in a blog post. Read more here

The question now is whether other tech companies will follow Google's disclosure. Google’s disclosures come amid an escalating debate over the lack of diversity in the tech industry. Although tech is a key driver of the economy and makes products that many Americans use everyday, it does not come close to reflecting the demographics of the country — in terms of sex, age or race. The lopsided numbers persist among engineers, founders and boards of directors. Read more at

Companies are increasingly criticized for a culture that too frequently fails to recruit, promote and retain women, especially at the leadership levels. In some cases, companies have are being accused of fostering a kind of “bro culture” that is unwelcoming to women.  See more

On the other hand, tech companies are competing in a constantly evolving marketplace, they may not have the time to hire based on diversity.
The lack of diversity also stems from economic inequality. This disparity leads to education inequality, and therefore lack of diversity in higher education, and the resulting lack of diversity in the tech sector.
An important challenge remains as well: how to get more women, blacks and Hispanics interested in STEM careers.

Google has poured money into educational programs in hopes of diversifying the technology industry in the long run, but it's clear that there's a long way to go before Google's offices (and those of other companies) represent a broader range of cultural experiences. See here

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