Google Searches for More Workplace Diversity

WASHINGTON — Google has released stats on the diversity of its workforce, with the Web-search giant conceding it had a problem recruiting and retaining women and minorities and saying it was trying to fix it.

“We’ve always been reluctant to publish numbers about the diversity of our workforce at Google,” Laszlo Bock, senior vice president, People Operations, said in a blog post. “We now realize we were wrong, and that it’s time to be candid about the issues. 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.”

Google said only 2% of its workforce is black, only 3% is Hispanic and that men outnumber women by more than two to one (70% to 30%).

The disparity is even greater in technology jobs and among top executives.

Bock said many factors account for why technology companies in general have a hard time recruiting and retaining women and minorities. Women only earn about 18% of computerscience degrees in the U.S., he said. Blacks and Hispanics comprise less than 10% of all college graduates, and collectively earn less than 5% of computer science degrees.

At left are the facts as Google outlined them last week, or as The New York Times characterized it, “a stark glance at how Silicon Valley remains a white man’s world.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.