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Google Discloses its (lack of) Diversity

05/28/2014
In a rare glimpse behind the tech curtain, Google released its 2014 diversity figures. The numbers weren't good, but they were in line with the few other companies that release such figures. For years, high tech companies have refused to release the race and gender of their employees.  Yet, Google's Vice President of "people operations," Laszlo Bock, said, "We're not where we want to be when it comes to diversity. And it is hard to address these kinds of challenges if you're not prepared to discuss them openly, and with the facts." 

Key Points

  • Eighty-three percent of Google's global tech workers are male
  • Sixty percent are white and 34% are Asian
  • Seventy-two percent of leaders are white
  • Tech companies have long kept information about the makeup of their workforces secret
  • Google is working to bring more women and minorities into the company, through better outreach, training of current staff and also encouraging those who historically haven't studied tech subjects to do so.

Discussion Questions

  1. How should diversity be defined in the workforce?
  2. Why might Google want to increase diversity?
  3. What are some effective strategies that companies have employed to increase the diversity in the workforce? 
  4. What are ways that society can encourage or enable greater diversity in high tech industries?
  5. How have the diversity numbers changed at Google over the last few years?  2018 Diversity Report
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