CIO Briefing

Google Just Confirmed Everything People Fear About Diversity in Tech

Mark Lennihan/AP

The technology industry is frequently thought of as a place that’s heavily white and male, and often unfriendly, if not hostile, to womenGoogle took a look at its own diversity record and released the data to NewsHour and in a blog post, and it confirms many fears.

According to the data, women make up 30% of the company’s total workforce, and 21% of its leadership. Only 17% of its technology employees are women. It’s data that the company hasn’t released before, and much more than others in the tech industry have made available.

Only 2% of the company’s total US workforce is black, and 3% is Hispanic. Asians are comparatively overrepresented given their share of the US population, making up 30% of the company’s American employees.

The gap is most acute among the company’s tech workers. Here’s the full breakdown of the company’s technology-specific workforce, which at Google mostly means engineers. The top two gender numbers are global, and the race numbers are from the US only:

It’s impossible to compare Google to peer companies, because they haven’t publicly released similar data, but reported numbers have been even lower elsewhere.

The motivation for releasing the numbers, according to Google human resources head Laszlo Bock, was because it’s difficult to address these issues unless they’re out in the open and backed up by facts. The release was made in the hope that Google will be able to recruit and retain “many more” women and minorities in the future.

Part of the issue is availability of candidates, and the company is focusing on education. According to the Google blog post, women earn about 18% of computer science degrees, and blacks and hispanics, less than 5%.

“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,” Bock writes in the post.

Reprinted with permission from Quartz. The original story can be found here.

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