Still searching

Google still very male and very white, but change is said to be coming

Jared Wickerham/The New York Times

Last year, in a move aimed at increased openness and transparency, Google publicly released its diversity figures, which showed that the tech giant — like so many of its fellow technology companies — was dominated largely by white and Asian men. On Monday, the search giant released an update of those figures, showing that progress is still very slow: seven out of 10 employees are men, and most employees are white (60 percent) and Asian (31 percent). Latinos (3 percent) and African-Americans (2 percent) are still largely underrepresented. Women made slight progress in technical roles at Google since last year, rising one percentage point (to 18 percent) but lost ground in non-technical roles, losing one percentage point and dropping to 47 percent. Nancy Lee, Google’s vice president of people operations, said she is seeing “positive trends,” however, and hopes to accelerate the improvements. Making substantial change in just one year is impossible, she said, but the company is deeply committed to changing the numbers over the long run. Google says it will spend $150 million in 2015 alone on diversity initiatives that range from casting a wider net on college campuses to changing the perception of computer science as a field best suited for white and Asian men. Lee also pointed out that through investments in scholarships for women and more on-campus recruiting, one in five technical hires at Google last year were women, up from 13 percent of technical hires five years ago. “Ultimately there isn’t any reason why women who are 50 percent of the world and more than 50 percent of college grads are so underrepresented in technical fields,” Lee said. “We should have parity. But that’s a much longer game.”

Read the full story at USA Today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *