Google’s Plan to Solve Its Diversity Issue

Google Diversity Numbers 2014

A year ago, Google released some data about its workplace diversity, which showed that the search-engine giant’s employees were 70 percent male and 61 percent white (see the graph above for a further breakdown). “Simply put, Google is not where we want to be when it comes to diversity,” Google’s Senior Vice President of People Operations Laszlo Bock wrote in a blog posting at the time.

Now it seems that Google is doing something about those numbers. In a new corporate blog posting, Nancy Lee, Google’s vice president of people operations, outlined four things the company is doing to boost its diversity:

  • Encouraging its employees to take diversity classes, and invest more of their work time in “diversity projects.”
  • Expanding its hiring programs to encompass more colleges, with an eye toward pulling in more diverse groups of new employees.
  • Broadening the “pool of technologists” by making computer science (CS) classes accessible to greater numbers of kids.
  • Encouraging business owners (via the Accelerate with Google Academy) to participate online.

However well-funded and organized these four initiatives, however, Lee acknowledged from the outset that meaningful change takes time, especially within organizations as gargantuan as Google. “From one year to the next, bit by bit, our progress will inch forward,” she wrote. “More importantly, our industry will become more inclusive, and the opportunities for currently underrepresented groups will grow.”

In other words, it may take a few more annual diversity reports for Google to declare victory in its attempt to diversify.