Google Finally Discloses Its Data On Diversity, And The Numbers Aren't Great

Google today released a report that details the ethnic and gender makeup of its employees.

Until now, Google — as well as other companies in the Silicon Valley — had been reluctant to show diversity numbers. And after seeing the report, it’s easy to see why.

The company also shared even more numbers with PBS NewsHour: Women account for only 21% of the top positions in the company, which has just under 50,000 employees.

Google announced that it was going to release the numbers at its annual shareholders meeting a few weeks ago. “Many companies in (Silicon Valley) have been reluctant to divulge that data, including Google, and, quite frankly, we are wrong about that,” David Drummond, who oversees Google’s public policies, said at the time.

In a blog post that accompanies the numbers, Laszlo Block, Google’s senior vice president for people operations, writes:

There are lots of reasons why technology companies like Google struggle to recruit and retain women and minorities. For example, women earn roughly 18 per cent of all computer science degrees in the United States. Blacks and Hispanics make up under 10 per cent of U.S. college grads and collect fewer than 5 per cent of degrees in CS majors, respectively. So we’ve invested a lot of time and energy in education.

But we’re the first to admit that Google is miles from where we want to be — and that being totally clear about the extent of the problem is a really important part of the solution.

Google doesn’t say how it plans to fix the problem, and only mentions that releasing the numbers is a way to at least begin opening the discussion.

Although there is a noticeable rise in “bro culture” when it comes to the tech industry, some of the blame lands on who is actually applying for the jobs. Around 30,000 students took the AP computer science exam, and only around 20% were female, according to the analysis, 3% were black, and just 8% were Hispanic, for example.

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