Google Comes Clean on Lack of Diversity, NHMC Calls on More to Do the Same
Google released information about the diversity of its workforce, and the news isn't very positive. Most of the giant company's workforce is made up of white men. There is a positive side to the story though, as Google is at least acknowledging the problem with full transparency, which the National Hispanic Media Coalition says is the first step towards an "honest conversation" about the lack of diversity in tech.
As we mentioned before, Silicon Valley and the tech world in general has a diversity problem. Specifically for Latinos, only about 7 percent of Hispanics were working in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields, according to the most recent U.S. Census data (2011) available. In Silicon Valley, only 7 percent of workers in the tech industry are either Black or Latino -- something Rev. Jesse Jackson called attention to recently in remarks at the HP shareholders meeting. "Technology is supposed to be about inclusion, but sadly patterns of exclusion remains the order of the day," said Jackson.
For Google, being transparent about diversity in the workforce is the first step towards approaching the problem. "We've always been reluctant to publish numbers about the diversity of our workforce at Google. We now realize we were wrong, and that it's time to be candid about the issues," said Google's first ever diversity report.
The report showed that 70 percent of Google employees are men, 61 percent are White, and only 3 percent were Hispanic. Blacks made up only 2 percent of Google's workforce, while women in general were only at 30 percent.
"We're not where we want to be when it comes to diversity," wrote Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of People Operations at Google. "And it is hard to address these kinds of challenges if you're not prepared to discuss them openly, and with the facts."
The National Hispanic Media Coalition, which works partly to ensure Latino voices are included in the media and in telecommunications industries, said it had "long requested that Google share its employment numbers and commit to recruiting more Latinos into its workforce" in a release.
"Obviously these numbers leave much to be desired," stated NHMC's president and CEO, Alex Nogales. "However, I am encouraged that Google has taken the important first step necessary for any company to truly transform its inclusion of diversity: transparently face up to the numbers and admit that it has a problem."
"The talent is available," continued Nogales. "Last month we learned that the University of California system -- in Google's home state -- admitted more Latinos than Whites for the first time in history. The next step won't be easy, but it is critically important, and that is to help Google connect to the deep pool of Latino talent that is equipped to move the company into the next generation, both in terms of technology and multiculturalism."
NHMC's executive vice president and general counsel, Jessica J. González, added, "I spoke with a Google representative this afternoon, who committed to working with NHMC to improve its Latino numbers."
Google this year also committed to continue its partnership with the Latino-focused Manos Accelerator, which works to help launch Latino startups. "I urge other tech companies to follow Google's lead when it comes to transparently disclosing diversity numbers," stated González, "Google isn't the only one with diversity skeletons in its closet. Let's have an honest conversation about diversity in this sector, and work together to improve the situation."
Subscribe to Latin Post!
Sign up for our free newsletter for the Latest coverage!