Report: Google Still Struggles With Diversity

By Kenrya Rankin Jun 05, 2015

A year after Google first released employee demographic data, the company confirmed this week that it still has a diversity problem. The latest report shows that whites make up 60 percent their U.S. workforce. While Asians occupy 31 percent of positions, blacks and Hispanics fill just 2 and 3 percent of those slots, respectively.

The tech giant doesn’t fare much better when it comes to women. Worldwide, the company employs more than twice as many men (70 percent) as women (30 percent). And despite consciously tapping them to fill 21 percent of last year’s computer programming job openings, just 18 percent of Google tech jobs worldwide are being done by women. A full 72 percent of leadership is white. Overall, the stats are virtually unchanged from last year.

In a statement posted to Google’s blog last month, the company’s diversity strategy head Nancy Lee detailed her plan, which includes installing a Google in Residence program in the computer science departments of five historically black colleges and universities; providing tools to support education in coding at high schools nationwide; and recruiting at more diverse schools. The company says that it has spent $115 million so far and plans to devote another $150 million to move the diversity needle this year.

Google’s 2014 report sparked other tech companies to spill their numbers, a move that revealed an industry-wide problem. Experts say diversity in tech isn’t just good for diversity’s sake: Research shows that inclusive teams are more innovative and more profitable.

“With an organization of our size, meaningful change will take time. From one year to the next, bit by bit, our progress will inch forward,” Lee said. “More importantly, our industry will become more inclusive, and the opportunities for currently underrepresented groups will grow.”