Google releases workforce demographics, vows to increase diversity

SAN FRANCISCO Thu May 29, 2014 10:07am IST

The Google signage is seen at the company's offices in New York January 8, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File

The Google signage is seen at the company's offices in New York January 8, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Kelly/File

Related Topics

Stocks

   
A statue of Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, is carried in a taxi to a place of worship on the first day of the ten-day-long Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai August 29, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Ganesh Chaturthi Festival

During Ganesh Chaturthi idols will be taken through the streets in a procession accompanied by dancing and singing, and will be immersed in a river or the sea in accordance with Hindu faith.  Slideshow 

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc revealed the gender and racial makeup of its 50,000-strong workforce on Wednesday, disclosing a significantly below-average proportion of minorities and women employees that it said was "miles from where we want to be."

Google's disclosure of its workforce demographics represented a rare move for a U.S. company, even if the figures came as no surprise to those familiar with Silicon Valley, an industry long scrutinized for its lack of diversity. Blacks and Hispanics made up just 2 and 3 percent of overall employees at Google, respectively, while women accounted for 30 percent, the company said in a detailed blogpost.

That compares with the U.S. workforce average of about 47 percent women in 2012, according to the Department of Labor. For blacks and people of Hispanic descent, it was 12 and 16 percent, respectively.

"Put simply, Google is not where we want to be when it comes to diversity, and it’s hard to address these kinds of challenges if you’re not prepared to discuss them openly, and with the facts," Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations, said in the Wednesday blogpost.

The employment gaps for women and minorities in the tech sector may stem from education, Bock said. Women earn roughly 18 percent of all computer science degrees in the United States; blacks and Hispanics make up less than 10 percent of U.S. college grads and collect fewer than 5 percent of degrees in computer science majors, respectively, he argued.

But Bock, who added that Google has donated more than $40 million to organizations promoting computer science education among women, said Google recognized the extent of the internal problem and was open to discussion about possible solutions.

"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," he wrote.

Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson attended shareholder meetings at both Google and Facebook earlier this month to raise the issue of racial diversity in the Valley.

(Reporting by San Francisco newsroom; Editing by Ken Wills)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Anti-trust Probe

Reuters Showcase

New iPhone

New iPhone

New Apple iPhone to have "mobile wallet" function - Bloomberg  Full Article 

Wearable Gadgets

Wearable Gadgets

Swatch prefers go-it-alone route for smartwatch plans.  Full Article 

Google Drones

Google Drones

Google tests drones for deliveries.  Video 

Hot Commodity

Hot Commodity

Data scientists are increasingly becoming important to the world's tech companies.  Video 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage