Google

Google has just published a blog post that gives insight into the diversity at the company. The numbers published detail the gender and ethnic diversity within the workforce. Laszlo Bock, Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, admits that Google is not where they want to be when it comes to diversity. Numbers after the break.

Google Diversity Chart

The numbers in the chart above come from January 2014. The gender data is based on Google's global workforce, while the ethnicity data is representative of only US employees.

70 percent of Google's global workforce is male, while women make up 30 percent of staff. In the United States, 61 percent of Googlers are white, 30 percent are Asian, 4 percent are two or more races, 3 percent are Hispanic, 2 percent are Black and the remaining ethnicity make up less than one percent.

Google cites the low number of female graduates with computer science degrees as one reason why only 30 percent of their staff is female.

Why did Google release these numbers? To be transparent about the current level of diversity in their workforce and admit that they are currently short of where they want to be.

What sort of initiatives could Google do to improve workforce diversity?

Source: Google

 

Reader comments

Google admits it still has work to do on workforce diversity

155 Comments

Exactly. They shouldn't have even mentioned anything. This whole affirmative action and women are equal to men bull is getting out of hand. If they aren't qualified or are but don't the right attitude for the job then don't hire them.

Common sense isn't good enough for a "liberal" or "progressive". I use quotes because nothing of what they stand for has anything to do with liberty or progress.

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Only those at the extreme end, dont class all liberals together. Remember a conservative at the other end would never employ a woman or black person, ever, as a matter of principle.

Well you used the word "never" and referred to one specific race. First of all, minorities are not just black people. What about latinos and asians? Hopefully you aren't one of those people that think racism is only white against black. It is much more than that. And, in Google's case, most of their minorities would be latino or asian based on their west coast location. As far as the word "never," I can guarantee you that I, as an extreme conservative, would only hire the most qualified person, even if that meant he or she was a minority.

So what you are saying is that my generalisation is wrong. For reference see the generalisation above mine.. works both ways..

A extreme conservative would hire the best person for the job regardless of race/gender. Have you forgotten history? Liberals gave us slavery, segregation, the KKK and fought civil rights legislation for over 100 years. Now they insist that minorities are not as capable as whites and need special protections as a result- ie more racism.

The meaning of "liberal" and "conservative" (or, more specifically "Democrat" and "Republican" )and changed *drastically* over the past few decades. There are also differences between social and political views. Politically, I'm pretty conservative (aka: the government needs to get its spending under control) but socially I'm pretty liberal (aka: gay marriage).

Too many people like to use these "diversity" and "racism" arguments as a way of making people do what they want or to shut up someone they don't agree with.

This can't be said enough. The only reason things in computer science are so sexist is because people don't stop harping on it. I'm a female, and honestly all the talk of how the industry is sexist makes me want to switch professions. Hire based on skill, not on prejudice or gender, and ignore the while stigma attached to coding and girls. There, problem solved.

That said, I always find these sorts of statistics interesting.

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Well, I'd disagree with you to an extent. While I agree that the idea of Affirmative Action SHOULDN'T be something that this country would need to have.... The reality of it is that, despite the fact that YOU may not have been unfairly affected by racial (or along those lines gender/color/sexual-preference, etc.) discrimination that would prevent YOU as a best qualified individual from getting quality employment does NOT give YOU the grounds to state that preventing such things from happening to others is BS. Affirmative Action seems to be viewed by those who don't see the purpose of it or the leveling of employment, of sorts, that it provides as some type of welfare program. Let's be real, racism and discrimination of all sorts is REAL! You can deny it all you want, but that type of rhetoric is ridiculous. People in this country actually believe that the election of President Obama proves that racism is over, but DON'T consider that his job is ONE job... among millions. Affirmative Action is an unfortunate NEED in this country. You'd be a fool to think that ALL hiring decisions made in this country are devoid of discrimination and prejudgment. There are countless individuals who are turned away by racial inequality. What world are YOU living in?

I'm for laws saying that you can't discriminate against an applicant based on factors that are irrelevant to the job itself (ie: race, gender, etc). What I do have a problem with is people who abuse that system. This idea that every company is going to have a perfectly even distribution of all ethnicities/genders/etc is just ridiculous. We should fight against discrimination, but we can't *assume* discrimination just because only 30% of the workforce in a specific industry or company is female. Sometimes, it's just math.

The problem is you don't know if they are hiring the right people are just one kind of person. That is easy to say just hire the right person the numbers are showing that they are hiring the same race/gender over and over again. This is a problem with the tech industry as whole though. Where are all the women/ African American tech writers? That's another topic for another day though.

What do you mean where are they all? Maybe there aren't many, and forcing/letting more into the industry if they don't want to do it or aren't very good at it will not help them or the industy at all. In fact it will make things worse.

Diversity for the sake of diversity does no one any favours.

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"Diversity for the sake of diversity does no one any favours"

Yes it does when you're a global company how can you cater to the needs of women if you have no women on the staff to speak to their needs. I f you are country club and your customers are all middle age white men you can do that. If you have a global product that caters to every type of consumer you have to have more then %2 on the staff. .And if you need anymore proof of that see the NBA,NFL,MLB or any sports league they want all backgrounds too buy their product.

What if it leads to an inferior product? What if it prevents someone that is more qualified for the job from getting the job? How is that fair at all to that person?

Qualifications, experience, and ability to perform the job better than other applicants should be the deciding factor when hiring someone.

The idiocy in this post cannot be understated.

Google (and quite frankly any other big tech company) are not in the business of appealing to the masses with the most popular fad available, they are in the business of creating and innovating things you didn't even know you wanted or thought possible. For this kind of work you don't create an artificial environment with a mediocre workforce, you need to get the best possible candidate for every position.

The only things those stats are confirming are the obvious, White and Asian males dominate the workforce when it comes to tech and innovation. Is it because blacks and females are dumber/incapable of working in this environment? No, the problem goes deeper than that, because it's cultural. You need to motivate the blacks and females, and eventually those numbers will even out, not put a bandaid by hiring the black females for the next 100-200 job openings to change your diversity stats.

"Google (and quite frankly any other big tech company) are not in the business of appealing to the masses"

So why the hell are they a global brand??????????????????? If you don't want to appeal to the masses you stay local You must not know what being a global brand means that means you WANT to appeal to the world.

If only 2% of your applicants are a particular race or gender, then obviously only 2% of your staff *can* be that race/gender. In order to guarantee even diversity in employment, even if you're not getting even diversity in applicants, means that you would *have* to discriminate against some applicants based on race/gender.

Exactly my thoughts. Focusing on ethnicity, even if 'positive', does nothing for abolishing racism. Race should be ignored completely.

Perhaps it's a bit idealist, but it's true.

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You know I agree with you to a certain extent, however only non minorities say what you just said "Who cares". As a society we should care and that's not to say we should go out of our way to hire minorities, but we should promote IT as a valid carrier path for everyone.

Have you ever been to a public school? Girls get taught down to. Minorities get taught down to. The poor get taught down to (and get the shittiest teachers). Minorities make up a smaller percentage of the skilled work force for a reason. Racism isn't just about hatred, it's about stereotyping, expectations and ushering people into one career path or another, consciously or subconsciously, because of gender or ethnicity.
Christ, just walk through the toy section of a Walmart, target or other store and just try and claim gender stereotypes aren't pushed on kids, especially girls. The pink aisle is nauseating, not just for the harsh glare of the color, but for what it represents and teaches our kids.

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Hi, idiot. What you said speaks more about public schools than it does the tech industry. And that's only if what you said is actually true; which you failed to prove. Please stop ruining my country.

What he said is true: that does happen in public schools. And, before you reply with the proverbial "why don't their parents just send them to private school" crap, their parents probably can't afford to send them to private school, where kids like that would get a better education and probably be able to compete for more tech jobs.

I'm not sure, how brendilon pointing out a truth is ruining your country.

He's not ruining your country. You're doing a good enough job on your own, you fucking idiot.

Public schools cater to all races and genders. I'm a US citizen of Indian origin. When I went to school, most of my classmates were white and I was taught along with them as any school. I do agree that some public schools have poor staff but it's also important for parents to encourage their children to learn. Most Indian and Indian origin families in the US give a lot of importance to education. Though the population of Indian origin and Indian nationals is extremely small, most occupy high paying jobs in IT and medicine.

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This is a very key point!

In the US the quality of a given public school is determined in large part by the amount of property tax that is collected from the land surrounding that school.

As such, people with greater wealth will tend to choose to live in areas that have better schools when access to quality public education is important to them. This further drives up property values which increases the money available to the schools- a virtuous circle. At least for their children.

On the other end, people with little access to wealth must live where they can afford to live- areas with lower property values and lower taxes. The schools that serve those areas are required, as all public schools are, to educate the students in that district regardless of the amount of tax revenue available to the school.

The result? Families who already have access to wealth can insure their children have a very high quality education and, thus, a strong start on the road to their own success. Families who are not already in a position to live where the good schools are must, by definition, accept whatever education is offered and that is almost always an inferior one.

Our nation could choose to provide every child with an education of equal quality but that would require that we invest in schools equally rather than based on the existing wealth of the people who live near a school.

"Please stop ruining my country"
Attitudes like that are exactly what is ruining OUR country.

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Yep, went to public school. Not particularly great ones, as they were in lower income areas. That didn't stop me from being a fairly intelligent student that got decent enough grades. Not the best, not the worst. Not a particular "diverse" student body, but the teaching staff definitely was. I sure don't blame any of them (regardless of if they "share my skin color" or not) for the poor decisions I made in my life.

I made the choices that got me to where I am today, not society, and not the toy aisle in Wal-Mart.

"especially girls" - yeah, like the "blue" aisle is any better for boys. If you're going to blame society, blame them equally. As much as "they" "keep people down" "they" also perpetuate the male chauvinist mentality. You can't blame them for perpetuating one and not the other.

I would hate to think that anyone is implying that people in general can't make choices to be better.

Thanks for that, Kevin. Well said. There are definitely disparities in public school systems, but it's up to parents to instill the desire in children to want more than what is given to them. We're all going to make bad decisions from time to time. It's the nature of being human. But a person can't just sit there and say "well, there's not point in trying" and then get mad at others because they failed to try, and then expect the government to "fix" it.

We are all responsible for our own actions or lack thereof.

In America, we have *great* opportunity for wealth creation. It's true that some people might have to work harder to achieve it than others, but it's still achievable.

it is discouraging when there is a lack of diversity in a workplace. Unfortunately it can't be talked about without "so what" and "it doesn't matter"
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Again, it depends on the *reason* for the lack of diversity. For instance, if there were evidence that 60% of a company's applicants were female, but only 30% of workforce was female, that might indicate sexual discrimination.

However, if that same company with a 30% female workforce only has 30% female applications, that doesn't indicate discrimination. It indicates math.

Not having an "even diversity" in a company's workforce does not automatically indicate some form of discrimination, and we need to stop pretending that it does. Fight discrimination where you find it, but don't assume discrimination just because of numbers.

When 63% of the US population is white, it should be hardly shocking that 61% of a company's workforce is white.

Asians are 30% of Google's workforce, but only 4.8% of the country's population. Does that mean that Google is discriminating against one minority over another?

Or is it possible that these numbers reflect the percentage of applicants that Google gets resumes from?

I'm a minority where I live and I don't care. There is only 1 other person in my office of the same race as me, but at least I know I got my position based on my merits, not because they were trying to diversify or balance out their racial percentages. In fact i would rather be passed over for a job because of my race than be given preferential treatment. I DON'T NEED special consideration because my skin is a different colour.

Exactly. I agree with the OP.
Hire whoever is good, and can contribute to the company. Nationality, sex, religion... forget all that. Whoever is qualified and has potential to make Google even better, should be hired, period.

I agree!! Anytime a company is "working towards diversity," they are missing the point. Equal opportunity doesn't mean purposefully hiring women and minorities to get the numbers in line. It means giving women and minorities the same fair shake that they give men and non-minorities. So, if two interviewees go in for the same position, the person who's better qualified for the position should get the job. Turning down a minority for a position when he or she is not as qualified, is NOT racist or sexist, and is NOT discriminatory. We as a country have completely lost all common sense. Society's thinking on this has become so backwards.

Adding to your comment, equal opportunity and equal outcome are the not the same.

One camp says equal opportunity is sufficient, let the individual do with said opportunity according to his ability and ambition. We the policy makers did our part to create a starting point of fairness, now let the chips fall where they may.

The other camp says that is insufficient, that everyone is a blank slate and therefore everyone MUST end at the finish line exactly the same. Otherwise, even more bureaucracies are put in place in a spiraling quagmire of re-definitions, fickle requirements and vague criteria in ever intensifying effort to enFORCE equal outcome. If it cannot convincingly reported to be working, fear not, the Ministry of Truth will take of it.

Agreed. People get confused about the constitutions' promise to the right of the "pursuit" of wealth, not the right to wealth itself.

And to you I'd say that's what they SHOULD do. But the reality of the REAL WORLD is that they don't always do it. The majority of the time, likely, but there are occasions in which this is NOT the case. Those are the grounds upon which an uptick in adversity is due and warranted. I don't believe that there is a racial/gender monopoly of this magnitude on computer sciences. I just don't buy it. Those who have never felt the sting of discrimination wouldn't understand.

Not to just add more noise to an already charged conversation, but the point of examining workplace diversity is: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/05/22/unconscious_bias_study_s...
...the point being that there are many subconscious biases to believing that the "best person for the job" is someone who is like you and comes from a similar background. This is a problem when the vast majority of the people hiring in certain fields are white or Asian men. This is why Google needs to do a self examination for how it is doing on diversity and how these subconcious biases might be influencing hiring decisions. At no point are they suggesting that they plan to hire underqualified women or minorities to satisfy any sort of quota.

If you read the article, that's not quite what it says. It discusses people in power giving jobs and resources to other individuals who are already their friends. The closest it gets to your assertion is where is says that cops "don't pull over white people enough".

The article is a carefully worded version of the same message we've been hearing for years: "white people are keeping black people down".

I will agree that the problem is more cultural than racial. But to assume a white person is racist, because they're white, is in itself racist.

I see a common theme for all of the folks who have an issue with Affirmative Action... They are ALL under the belief that everyone actually does get a fair shake in this country every single time... Such disillusionment from people that I would've assumed to have been much more aware of what REALLY goes on in the world.... Maybe I'M THE ONE prejudging... The irony...

No one said "every single time". We're not naive enough to believe that there isn't racism and discrimination out there, but we don't want it *assumed* that a company is discriminatory just because some numbers aren't the same.

Fight it where you find it. But when you *expect* it, you'll find it even where it doesn't exist.

So your stance is that if you don't see it it isn't there?

Just want to be sure I understand your position. The numbers are not expected to be the same imo (I agree with you on that point), but these numbers are racially staggering unless you're white or Asian. I stated in a previous comment that the computer sciences realm isn't THAT thoroughly dominated by whites and Asians. But due to the history of IT and it's past demographic (the white and Asian thing in IT isn't a new demographic), it's not too hard to ASSUME that along the way the history of numbers.. the ratio of races who have been dominant in the industry in the past would, even if not purposefully, influence the future hires by hitting officials based on reputation derived by the historical numbers (or the assumptions of what they've seen in the industry themselves in the past) ? Many people don't even realize that they made a call on a person based on presumption until it's pointed out to them. I'm not calling these people evil, but in this world... It happens... And the numbers of non white and Asians in the US is telling... I don't debate numbers, hell... Even Google sees what's happening here... It ain't a Black thing, not a girl thing, not a Hispanic thing, it's an everyone thing.

What I'm saying is that those numbers mean nothing without also knowing the percentages of the applicants, not just the people they hired. If 50% of their applicants are black, but only 2% are hired, that could indicate a problem. But if only 2% of their applicants are black, then a 2% black workforce is just math.

I'm game for a conversation, even if we disagree, so long as we can disagree civilly :)

So... if, for instance, 10% of a company's applicants were black, what percentage of their workforce would you expect to be black?

And, if only 10% of the applicants were black, does that signal a problem elsewhere, outside of the company?

I also suspect much of the disparity we see in the workforce to be cultural. That is, Asians (as a generalization) tend to push their children to work hard in school. Much more than most other cultures. Do you think that could be a legitimate factor in work force disparity?

I would expect the percentage to be commensurate to the number of black best qualified applicants. While I don't agree with the notion that the share of IT folk out there is majority White/Asian males, I do also recognize, as a Computer Science graduate myself, that there has been significant change in the demographic. I don't see that change in these numbers, and neither does Google. As far as the reasons, there are too many to comment here on, and it's a historically rich explanation that delves into the psyche of the country, not just a few jobs at Google. Very complicated issues that require thoughtful solutions. It's good to have dialogue with folk like you who can at least accept the fact that someone can have conflicting ideals and/or disagree with them and find that it's okay, though. Things like this show me that there is yet hope left in the world... Seriously, not joking.

Correction to my statement. I meant to say that 'I do agree with the notion'.. Predictive keyboard on my phone said 'I don't agree with the notion'.

+9000

I'm very against discriminating against good applicants based on gender or ethnicity, but this whole "we have to have even numbers" push is just stupid. If only 30% of your applicants are female, then you would *have* to discriminate against men in order to have a 50/50 mix. Same with ethnicity. It's basic math.

Now, if there is evidence that a company *is* discriminating against people for reasons that are not relevant to the job opening, that is something we should fight back against. But people need to quit demanding "even-distribution diversity".

I actually expected the Asian percentage to be about 50-55%. I'm surprised it was that low. But still a lot though.

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Illustrator Joe you make me laugh every time I read your comments. +1 for you

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Based on the US census bureau data, Asian-Americans make up about 4.8% of the US population. I'm a little surprised that it's as high as it is, but Asian culture does usually cause parents to put a focus on their childrens' education, which might account for a lot of the disparity.

Is Google making so much money to a point that they want to do some philanthropy within the company now?

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I don't get it. It's disgusting if they're intentionally hiring mostly white males just because they're white males. But it's equally disgusting if they're hiring people just to boost diversity numbers and having to turn down someone who's better qualified. I'm not sure if either of these are the case or not, but if you're focusing on a specific gender/race rather than all of them, then that's descrimination.

Almost done with schooling with two bachelors degrees two associates well CCAF and two certifications... After serving my country for 6.5 years (next June) I'll be applying to Google hopefully I'll have a better shot there then IBM or Cisco

~My $0.02~

Maybe they're intentionally hiring a large amount of Asians. If you were slotting spots based on race 60% white would be about right...30% Asian is very high. BTW, slotting based on what a group's representation in society as a whole is, is very stupid.

I applaud Google for being transparent if you hire one type of employee u are saying u want one group of people to buy your product. People get mad when you bring up diversity in the work place. They feel that it means hire a minority no matter what. Diversity in the work place means you get different views from different genders and ethnic groups. When you are a global company this is very important. How can Google sell anything to the Hispanic community when they have %3.0 Hispanic on their staff?

What you just said....baffles me...

So your logic feels that Hispanic people couldn't possibly understand or wish to purchase Google service...because it wasn't developed by a Hispanic person? I'm just....having a hard time following your argument....

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No that's not what is being said. For example if you have a company full of men...do you think they'd do a good job at selling products to women? Or would a more diverse company probably have a better shot at being successful in the same space?

This still ignores the fact that we have no idea what the hiring pool looks like. You can't just make a rich and diverse hiring pool of equally qualified applicants out of thin air.

No, you can't. But when you make a point of bringing these issues up, when you make it known that yes, you want to hire folks from all backgrounds, then the kids in the workforce-to-be can get the message that there IS a place for them if they work for it, which is not a message much of American culture sends to minority youth. It's one step in encouraging kids to dare to dream, by showing them the opportunity is there. Another would be setting a match to the pink aisles in every toy store in the country.

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As I said above, that "pink aisle" comment goes both ways.

It's too bad we don't have a minority President that could, idk, give hope to kids and "encourage them to dream".

ya know, I had a much longer reply typed up but then I realized something. There's no way to reply to the comments you're making without sounding like a jackass. Sure, society might have something to do with perpetuating mentalities, but that doesn't take away the ability to make a choice. A choice to be better.

If someone wants to choose to not conform to "social norms" (such as girls like pink, boys like blue) that's cool. But they can't expect to "force" everyone else to follow them. We must lead by example. Societal change takes *many* years. It's not going to happen quickly.

They'd be perfectly fine because they have huge amounts of data points that they can use from their search engine.

Data rules the "does it appeal" market, not a couple of men or women.

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Let me educate because you are clearly ignorant. The race of the coder means nothing to the end user. You are talking about having employees that understand the wants and needs of the market. That is not the job of a coder at Google. That would be the job of a market analyst typically from a firm not internal to the company. Please stop confusing the internets with your stupidity.

No what i'm saying is if you have a global product that sells to every consumer u want input from each side. Put it like this would you open up a business in Asia and no Asians on you're staff to tell you what is most important to them? No you wouldn't that would not be a smart business move.When you touch as many people as Google does you want as much diversity as possible too make your brand the best for everybody not just Middle age white men.

@dumbcow1: That is because you're trying to understand the rantings of a drone with liberal guilt. These are people who can only see things through the prism of race and cannot comprehend that, in reality, some people just make the most of their freedoms and opportunities, and some do not. It has nothing to do with race.

Part of what you say is true. But, you're a damn fool, if you think race still isn't a factor in determining occupation in this country.

I have no doubt that your statement is true, some of the time. But, as I said on another reply, these numbers mean nothing without also knowing the diversity of their applicants. If only 2% of the applicants are black, then a 2% black workforce is expected. We don't know, though. What many people are against is trying to "force" the numbers to "look" even, rather than comparing the relevant data.

I've been in IT since 1991 and I've only worked with 2 other Blacks in this entire time (yes I'm black).
It's not because the companies wont hire us I just don't think we do anything in the programing/database space.

When we are hired we always have to prove that we were hired not for the color of our skin, but because we were qualified.

It's kind of sad.

I work with a black guy right now, and he's one of the most talented programmers I've ever met. But, I will admit that most of my coworkers over my past decade in the industry have been Asian (China, Malaysia, India, etc).

I still suspect it's a cultural thing with how hard those cultures especially push education with their children.

I love the comments, I can definitely tell the is a lot of experience here from people who receive resumes for technology jobs /s , any of you guys ever wonder why a group that represents 2% of American population makes up 30% of googles work force? Then after that think about whether or not how many of those workers or what percentage of them are American citizens. Don't be fooled here by the stats represented, the issue isn't so much race,

And if you think the best person for the job is picked you are crazy, cost factors in there. Agencies are working everyday to bring cost down for clients, no matter where that talent comes from. Matter of fact they don't even bother recruiting locally and go straight over seas.
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Cost is a negligible factor for a company like Google. The #1 factor in hiring has been and always will be who you know first, followed by what you know in a distant second.

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I hate racism both ways. Which is why I hate this hand wringing that Google is doing. Can't we just judge a person (or company) by the content of his/her character instead of by color of skin?

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That would be lovely. Now, what are you going to do to stop american culture from objectivizing the female form and marginalizing women in STEM so that they have the opportunity to even feel like they can pursue those paths in the first place?
We don't live in a neutral, equal opportunity culture. We live in a sexist, racist culture that discourages women from pursuing technical careers, pays them less than men and does it's damnedest to give poor kids the worst possible education.

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I suppose I should be advocating for men's rights? I see women get the short end of the stick in the professional arena all the time. Some of us give a shit, because that means someone's mother, wife, sister or daughter is getting shit on just for having breasts.

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Well no, but you should be advocating for equal rights. Not just for women, and not just for men. But even then, you're not advocating for "rights" at all. You're advocating for societal change, since hiring based on sex, religion, color, etc is already illegal. Before you say "just because it's illegal doesn't mean it doesn't happen" just proves my point further that you really want a societal change. A change of mentality. Which I do agree with, btw.

I was listening to a news piece on NPR about this publication earlier; one of the people being interviewed was constantly calling Silicon Valley a Guys Country Club, which drove me insane. Especially since I am a white male, well half Mexican, but I just look white to others, engineer who lives in Silicon Valley!

Many of us on this site already know that in engineering programs the ratio of men to woman is absurd, but by the time woman are of college age it is too late fix the problem upstream. In other words, improve the ratio of men to woman in the engineering workforce. No, to really tackle the problem, it would start with fixing our education system in elementary and middle School.

Girls need to be equally encouraged to peruse and enjoy the math and sciences from the youngest of ages. Of course, what could be a more difficult problem to solve than our education system? Instead, people are trying to convince companies to overly represent woman in the industry relative to the ratio of men to woman earning engineering degrees as though that fixes the root problem.

I hope you enjoyed my rant. I have to admit, I am extremely passionate about the idea that it all starts with elementary and middle school, not college.

Absolutely. Well, almost. It doesn't start in elementary or middle schools, it starts at home with parents who push Lego's to their boys and Barbie's to their girls.

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Absolutely, what takes place at home is vastly more important than school, but as a society we could see the most tangible results with money spent in the class room. From a political perspective, it seems like our country does not look at its expenses as a system. Rather, money on school generates zero revenue, therefore it is costly. Instead, educated people develop economies and are healthier, which means lowering the cost of society while bringing in more revenue.

I do agree that I believe we have a big problem in America right now with parents being completely disconnected from their children. They buy them the toys that they "think" they should play with and have no idea what the child actually wants. My daughter was always equally happy playing with Barbies as she was Hot Wheels or Legos, and she has grown to become very intelligent and well rounded.

It's sad that you took the time to write such a lengthy comment because as soon as you said that you listen to NPR, I realized that I would rather mainline draino than finish reading it.

First, dismissing everything I wrote on the basis that I listen to NPR is the very definition of a straw man argument.

Secondly, and more importantly, dismissing entire arguments on the basis of disagreeing with one aspect of a complicated topic is a very dangerous mindset. Rarely, if ever, will groups of people ever agree 100% on a subject.

Third, is "draino" even a word?

I don't think it's Google's fault that their workforce appears to lack diversity. One cannot force people to major in computer science. That would be up to parents to encourage their daughters to pursue more math and science at a young age. If the girls have the interest, and they succeed in school/university, there will certainly be more qualified female candidates to compete for jobs.

In the end, the best person should be selected, no matter what sex/race/nationality the person happens to be. More women computer science graduates will result in more women working in tech jobs.

Perhaps Google could hire a third party agency to audit their hiring process. This could give them more relevant information than a pie chart.

Typical liberal mindset - include everyone, offend nobody, all people are fundamentally the same!

My way of thinking - hire who ya want, piss on those who don't like it, and yes, we're all fundamentally the same ... but that fact, and a $5 bill, are good for one coffee at Starbucks.

X-9 = 2B^3

This may sound crazy, but what if they just want to let people know that they shouldn't be afraid that they won't be hired because of the color of their skin or what's between their legs?

There's nothing wrong with wanting a diverse workforce.

It's like nobody else is taking what you have said into account. I knew the internet wasn't the most ideal spot to find people who think critically, but goodness.

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That is an excellent point, Jerry. I know my first thought was "oh no. Not this again." I appreciate the alternate perspective.

You are quite correct in saying that "There's nothing wrong with wanting diversity in the workforce" ... a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree. Yet if that diversity is being sought in the name of political correctness, then it becomes just as pointless as are all other PC-themed goals.

The powers that sit at Google's helm have well known proclivities for supporting a whole slew of left-wing causes. So their desire to have a diverse workforce "may" stem from the usual drives that fuel many liberal actions.

X-9 = 2B^3

Yes, people are fundamentally all the same, but cultures can be very different. The inclusion of many cultures within a company strengths their analysis and judgment skills. There are plenty of studies out their that show a strong correlation between productivity and having a culturally diverse workforce.

Also, I will just speak for myself here, but when girls are around I work harder. It may have nothing to do with sex, but on a subconscious level I am still motivated to impress; companies might as well take advantage of biology since it is free!

Noone is saying google should hire unqualified women/people of color. Why so many of you seem to assume that diversity somehow equates to unqualified workers baffles me.

What googles numbers essentially point to is an overall systemic issue with the tech field [which also exists in many other places as well].

1. "Just hire the best people." Let's be real here, we don't live in a meritocracy. The people hired are most likely never the BEST of the best. Qualified? probably. The best, definitely not. Why? Well for one, we all know that networking plays a pretty important role in the hiring process. Don't believe me? Then why do all cover letter websites say you should mention a contact at the organization if you want a job there? It pays to know people. So if everyone you and your friends know that are tech savvy are men, guess who is going to get the recommendation? (hint: I don't think it's going to be the person with the best qualifications). "But you know lots of people because you're the best." Yeah... I'm sure all those legacy admissions at the top tier schools are truly the brightest of the bunch.

2. But "who cares" right? Because things like racism and sexism are over so clearly the lack of women/people of color in the tech field is because of their own lack of interest. Even if you think that, why do you think there is a lack of interest? Are women/people of color just naturally against tech, because implying that sounds is pretty messed up. So if not natural, it's got to be cultural (tech culture and/or culture in general). And if the culture really didn't care, then obviously the pool for women/people of color would be much higher. But maybe it's just random? Yeah, I'm sure if you p valued this you would find that the disparity is statistically insignificant, just like the disparity of men and women in business or generally senior level positions. But I forgot, who cares right? Ignoring problems always make them go away.

3. "But (random anecdotal evidence showing women/people of color succeeding), if they can do it, then you should be able to as well. Don't blame the culture." I can play the anecdote game too. Madame CJ Walker was self made female millionaire who lived from 1860s-1910s. Oh and she was black. Since she made it during that time, that means US culture was perfectly fine. No racism, no sexism. Oh but women couldn't vote yet among other things.

So yeah, it matters because it points to larger problems with US society. Not talking or doing anything about it doesn't make you unbiased and objective. It means you're perfectly fine with how messed up things are, which ultimately makes you complicit.

Of course it makes them complicit, they are the ones that stand to benefit from Institutional racism. thats why black folk have been playing with a stacked deck since we got of the boat, it's easy for white folks to say racism doesn't exist, cause it's not them that are being affected!!!!!
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"Noone is saying google should hire unqualified women/people of color. Why so many of you seem to assume that diversity somehow equates to unqualified workers baffles me."

Not saying that "what will" happen, but it is what "usually" happens. A work place that is more concerned with diversity than with merit can make this error. I have had it happen in my work place they brought in some "diversity" into the work place and hired a train wreck simply based on the color of the skin.

I doubt either of us have done enough research on this topic to say what will happen or what usually happens. Your opinion shows your bias as my opinion shows mine. But as someone that is the "diversity" as you put it, I have also been fortunate enough to work in several environments with plenty of "diversity" that has not only strengthened the organization but also made us more aware of a variety of issues affecting access. No train wreck.

At the end of the day, if people in charge think that the decision their making is either diversity or merit and not diversity and merit then they're just not qualified to lead. We can point blame that the diverse workforce but ultimately its the people in charge that are responsible. This not only reasserts my first point of them not being the best of the best, but also my second point about the culture of tech. These are the people that help shape that culture. And with folks in charge simply not culturally competent, as the "diversity" that's not someone I would want to work for.

*edited for typo

My opinion on Affirmative Action is that it's a necessary evil. It should not be needed and in a fair world, it wouldn't be needed. However, the world is far from fair.

White people who believe that racism and oppression of minorities is over are sadly mistaken. It is not as direct and apparent as it was 50 years ago. From the perspective of White people, it seems as though all the systems of social injustice have been abolished. While many are indeed gone, others have simply evolved. For example, you can't continue to say "hire the right person for the job" if certain people don't have access to the tools to ever be the right person for the job. Just food for thought.

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Earth calling the Captain:

You are correct, the world is not fair, it is not just a level playing field as would be best. Only, your "necessary evil" has by design ensured that odds are stacked for certain kinds of people and against certain others in education, career opportunities and social programs. Thus making it truly unfair and therefore your statement true.

By the Captain's own estimates, shouldn't Google hire less Asians (I assume that's Chinese and Indians types, east and south Asians lumped together) in cross referencing the above pie chart with demographic stats? Why do you skew the impression that only White people have privilege? (Not to say that many Asians or anyone are better qualified and therefore deserve to be rewarded.)

Oh I know the standard arguments...next you will say...But it's necessary to correct "historical" injustices in America.

The point is not that, under scrutiny, they weren't as great as portrayed, certainly not in global-historical context. Rather, let's suppose what you say is true.Then just how long this social engineering, this "necessary evil" must go on before adequate compensation to rectify said "historical" injustices. What, 50 years, 2 whole generations, since the turbulent 1960's sufficient? When is it fair to say that enough head start opportunities - the "access to the tools to ever be the right person for the job" you speak of - have been provided and it is now up to the beneficiary to not squander them. When is the point reached where it has teetered to another form of imbalance? Should a young affirmative action hire, who would otherwise not been there, be given the communications clerk job to which she may be qualified or straight to the commanding officer's chair in your 23rd century fantasy world?

Further to the notion your historical injustices, there is the matter of whether an innocent person should even be compensatorily liable for alleged deeds of his ancestors therefore garnishment from him (in form of say admission to school or job of choice). Now if that isn't enough, there is question whether one's direct ancestors were merely bystanders in a group to which, justified or not, guilt is attributed. In other words, whether or not "collective guilt" compounded with "guilt by association" is fair.

Anyone else think I've mutinied and outdebated the Captain?

Diversity is not "hire more women/ethnicities/etc to meet a quota/for the numbers". It offers different perspectives and insights that otherwise would not and/or could not have been realized. As a result, businesses grow in both size and cultural knowledge, products are more likely succeed due to decreased issues with regard to product perception or positioning issues, and more people become interested in the field as a whole and keep ideas fresh and afloat.

Honestly, a business is only harming itself if it is lacking in diversity. Google realizes this and it's just another reason why I think Googke is a good company (not without their mistakes, but a good company nonetheless)

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Am sure google are wrong with dia data analysis. Or maybe users doesn't give correct information about themselves. Whichever way, the should try and work more on d on dat front

Probably more men apply for a job at google than women. Probably more white people apply for a job at google than others. Show us the stats for how many males and females get turned down for the job. And show us the numbers for all the ethnicities that get turned down.

The #s aren't surprising seeing as White men and women are the majority in the US. I do like that Google wants a diverse company though. Diversity offers a variety of views and opinions. Unfortunately due to racism, stereotyping, affirmative action, and the lack of unbiased encouragement for our youth regardless of their race, ethnicity or religious belief Google will probably have a tough time getting their diversification where they'd like it while actually hiring those who are truly the best qualified for the job.

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I am black and I wouldn't mind working at Google, hopefully they have something for a finance major 4 years from now.

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The main problem is, is each what group is into by a whole let's just take females if you look as a whole at the ones you know how many are into anything tech related? I pay attention to what most people like at work you know how many times a day I hear my husband boyfriend ect does the tech stuff I just pick the color. I know that sounds bad but I hear it all day. I look at my friends that are girls alone my gf is the only one that is in school for anything tech related. It just mainly boils down to different interests imo

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Actually this seems pretty diverse and I'd like to see the numbers compared to Apple and Microsoft. Computer programmers and engineers tend to be male dominated majors at the top schools. I know several women who graduated from Ivy league schools with degrees in Computer engineering and they said the ratio was 10 to 1 male to female. You can't blame Google or anyone if the talent pool lacks diversity.

Just hire the best and move on. Unless Google is intentionally not hiring certain people, then it's a problem.

While I appreciate this post and what it stands for, I hate how political the comments have become. Google needs to hire the best people available, no matter the gender or race. The computer science field is full of White and Asian guys, that's a fact. While sports are full of Black and Hispanic guys. Again, another fact. It all balances itself out. Everyone has the opportunity to be what they want to be.

(a) I'm pleased to see that the vast majority of comments express opposition to ideological manipulation of whatever organic process affects the composition of a leading tech company, indeed any type of organization. Trying to force a square peg into a round hole, no matter how well intended, only leads to worse consequences.

I certainly would not want social policy to undermine MY talents and hard work no matter how hard I try.

(b) I'm also pleased that finally, after decades, there is weariness of said social engineering among the current generation, the one that has to live with and clean up the mess left by the hippie/liberal/cultural Marxist types so common in my generation. May you build a better world, one built on timeless (not old fashion) reason and common sense.

Hopefully, the internet and networked personal devices will be of aid in that social movement.