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Google hit leadership diversity goal 3 yrs ahead of schedule before layoffs

The company met its commitment of boosting leadership representation for underrepresented minorities by 30% in 2022, according to its annual diversity report

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By Kelsey Butler
 
Alphabet Inc.’s Google hit a goal for diversifying its leadership three years ahead of schedule.
 
The company met its commitment of boosting leadership representation for underrepresented minorities by 30% in 2022, according to its annual diversity report out on Wednesday. In 2020, Google said it wanted to hit that benchmark by 2025.

The latest data show that Black people make up 5.2% of leadership, up from 2.6% in 2020. Hispanic and Latinx workers make up 4.3% of top roles, up from 3.7% in 2020; for Native American employees those figures are 0.8% in 2023 and 0.5% in 2020.

The company created new onboarding initiatives for Black, Latinx and Indigenous staff at Google in an effort to improve retention rates, according to the report, which did not outline how it defines leadership.

The latest data doesn’t account for workers lost in job cuts announced earlier this year. Widespread layoffs across the tech industry have hit diversity, equity and inclusion teams particularly hard and threatened company pledges to boost underrepresented groups in their ranks.

Of the largest technology companies, 94% underrepresented Latinx employees and 82% underrepresented Black workers in top jobs, according to a 2020 analysis by job-seeker firm BeamJobs. Black people make up at least 12% of the US population but only 8% of workers in the tech sector, according to a 2023 report by McKinsey & Co.

Black people and other people of color have long highlighted a lack of diversity in Silicon Valley. This was amplified in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020, after which Google announced a raft of equity commitments. The previous year, the company’s investors demanded the company reform racial and gender diversity following a massive walkout by employees.

The tech firm’s concerted effort to diversify management comes as it continues to face accusations of racial discrimination. Google is being sued by a former employee who alleged the company is systematically paying White employees more than their minority counterparts.

Google is now considering revising its target, according to Chief Diversity Officer Melonie Parker.

“We’re taking a look at what more should we be doing there?” Parker said in an interview. “We look at the availability of the external talent marketplace compared to what we have internally and the goal of our organization is to close gaps. So we want to make sure that we’re doing that and staying ahead of the curve.”

Parker declined to comment on specific workforce cuts but said the company remains “very committed to our resources and to our diversity plans and commitments.”

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First Published: Apr 19 2023 | 11:28 PM IST

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