The technology industry has recently come under the spotlight regarding the diversity of its staff; however, Google – owned by Alphabet – has spent the last few years working hard to rectify the imbalance of gender, age, race and ethnicity.
The tech giant has recently released a new report to show its progress in this area of the businesses, standing by its commitment to be transparent with its numbers.
Women in the tech industry
Statistics show that tech workers at Google are still primarily white males; however, the percentage of women in technical roles has risen and now stands at 20%.
While 31% of the global workforce is female, compared with 30% in 2014, only 25% hold managerial positions, which represents a 4% rise in the last three years.
While there is a clear need for more women to take up tech and leadership roles, the company has seen a vast improvement in gender diversity since it first released its staff numbers back in 2014.
Google was the first major tech company to make detailed information on its staff make-up available to the public and has since been a pioneering driving force in promoting change within the sector.
Race and ethnicity
With white males still dominating the US workforce, it is interesting to observe that black and Hispanic workers now make up 9% of the country’s non-technical roles (5% and 4% respectively), whereas they were even more of a minority in 2014 at just 5%.
A lack of diversity within any company and sector is likely to have big repercussions, not only on the way the business works internally but also on its external influence. Google recognised this as a major issue and accepted a new challenge, although significant change to the make-up of staff is going to be a slow process.
As a result of its dedication to improving the diversity of its workforce, Google invested more than $250m (£193m) on new recruitment initiatives to help diversify its teams.
The funding covered new internships, newly-renovated computer labs for schools, and the Howard West engineering residency.
These initiatives run alongside the existing Google in Residence scheme, which houses Google engineers at HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities); however, the vice-president, Bonita Stewart, acknowledges that there is still much more that can be done to solve these HR-related problems.
With the company’s efforts in full force, Google has announced that it has hired a new vice-president in charge of diversity.
Danielle Brown was previously at Intel, where she played a similar role and helped to significantly boost the company’s diversity and inclusion statistics.
Following the successful completion of Intel’s $300m, five-year plan, Brown faces a similar challenge at Google. Judging by her track history, the company is in safe hands and we can expect to see positive change over the next few years.
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