Google’s workforce lacks Latino and women representation
Google hires many Latino and female interns but fewer progress to full-time positions compared to other minority groups.
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Google released its seventh diversity report this week, revealing a modest increase in the representation of women and people of color in a disproportionately white, Asian, and male workforce.
The percentage of black employees in the U.S. grew from 4.8% in 2018 to 5.5% in 2019, an increase of 7%. The percentage of African-American hires in technical roles also grew by 0.7%, the largest increase in the proportion of technical hires since Google began publishing its diversity data. The percentage of Latino employees experienced a drop in hiring, falling from 6.8% in 2018 to 6.6% in 2019.
Female employees did not fare much better, with their share falling from 33.2% of global hires in 2018 to 32.5% in 2019. During the same period, the percentage of women recruited to technical positions remained at approximately 25.6%, far below the projections for gender parity. But recruitment only shows one side of the coin, so Google began including attrition rates in 2018.
Overall, Google's workforce representation saw a slight rebound for most underrepresented groups. Black and Latino employees represent 9.6% of its U.S. workforce, an increase of 0.6% from 2018; while women represent 32% of Google's global workforce, an increase of 0.8%.
The representation of women and Latino employees in leadership roles also grew, increasing by 0.6% and 0.4% respectively.
Although the needle barely moved for women and people of color in technology over the last year, Google has made an effort to invest in diversity programs. Through its philanthropic side, Google.org, the company committed $10 million to support low-income students and students of color in California's STEM classrooms by 2019.
In addition, the company has created smaller initiatives, such as running all job openings through a bias elimination tool, which they say has increased applications from women by 11%. And for team and talent retention, the technology monopoly expanded its retention case management program for underrepresented employees who were considering leaving the company.
However, looking at its most recent diversity figures, Google recognizes that there is considerable room for improvement. "The Native American population is one of those areas where we remain steadfast, so we will continue to invest more attention in 2020 to make sure we target this population as well," said Melonie Parker, Google's director of diversity.
One area where Google has seen significant progress is in its internship program: globally, 40% of interns in technical roles were women in 2019 and 24% of U.S. interns were black and Latino.