A little over a year ago, Google hopped on the Silicon Valley bandwagon and published its diversity statistics.
Like at many other tech companies, the numbers were grim, revealing a workforce mostly composed of white and Asian men. For example, women only filled 21% of its leadership roles, and less than 5% of leaders were black, Hispanic, or mixed race.
At the time, Google posed the statistics as a way of opening up the conversation about diversity at work.
Today, Google VP of people operations Nancy Lee published a blog post outlining the concrete ways the company has hustled to change its numbers in the past year, and how it will continue to move forward in 2015.
Lee told USA Today that Google spent $US115 million on diversity initiatives in 2014, and plans to spend $US150 million this year.
The company hasn’t revealed its new diversity statistics, but says it plans to soon.
Google has four key areas it will focus on. Here’s what the money will go towards, according to Lee’s blog post:
- Google will hire more diverse employees in part by expanding the number of schools it recruits from (previously it only plucked employees from a small number of homogeneous universities). “In the past two years, we’ve doubled the number of schools where we recruit, to promote student diversity. This year, nearly 20 per cent of the hires we make from a university are from these new campuses.”
- It will create a fair and inclusive culture by instituting a formal program called Diversity Core that more than 500 Googlers will have to participate in as a part of their jobs. “Half of all Googlers have participated in our unconscious bias workshops — and we’ve now rolled out a hands-on workshop that provides practical tips for addressing bias when we see it. We’re also drawing on the idea of 20 per cent time to enable employees to use their time at work to focus on diversity projects. In 2015, more than 500 Googlers will participate in Diversity Core, a formal program in which employees contribute — as part of their job — to the company’s diversity efforts.”
- Google wants to expand the pool of technologists with a program to help teach kids to code and by helping to change the perception of computer science. “Since research tells us that to inspire more girls, we need to show them that computer science isn’t just for boys, we started Made with Code — and we’re working with the entertainment industry to change the perceptions around CS and what it means to be a computer scientist.”
- It will bridge the digital divide by helping more business owners get online. “We also want more underrepresented communities, including women and minorities, to share the benefits of the web, and to have access to the economic engine it provides. The Accelerate with Google Academy helps business owners get online, grow and drive economic impact.”