Google releases workforce diversity figures, showing white males are still the majority

Alex Spencer

Google has released its latest diversity figures – and they show a company where white males are still the majority.

69 per cent of Google employees are male, and 56 per cent are white. Those figures rise to 75 per cent and 68 per cent respectively when it comes to leadership roles.

Things are improving – that 25 per cent of women in leadership roles has grown from 21 per cent three years ago – but the company acknowledges it needs to do better.

"Clearly, there is much more to do," said Eileen Naughton, VP of people operations at Google. "Black Googlers still make up only 1 percent of our technical workforce, and we’re working to change that."

Two initiatives aiming to help improve this figure are Google in Residence, which embeds Google engineers at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), now in its sixth year, and Howard West, Google's three-month enigineering residency for computer science majors from Howard University, a prominent example of a HBCU.

"For all of our communities of color, we’re working to make sure our culture is rewarding and welcoming through events, town halls, employee resource groups, and ensuring fairness in the promotion process," continued Naughton.

Google is also hiring Danielle Brown as its new vice president of diversity, starting in July. Brown joins from Intel, where she held roles including chief diversity & inclusion officer and group chief human resources officer.

"More than other industries, the technology sector is extremely open about its challenges in creating a diverse and inclusive workforce," Naughton said. "We all welcome the conversation and the scrutiny; it helps us raise the bar in terms of this important work and our commitment to it. I’m thrilled to welcome Danielle to Google, because she shares both our values and our desire for action."