Hoping to reverse the impression that Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) is a male-dominated culture, particularly among its tech ranks, the huge search company disclosed that 21% of its job additions in that part of the company were women. Of course, that is a long way from half and half. It is also a problem that has plagued the impression of lack of diversity among many large tech companies.
In a blog post, Google management boasted about the trend:
21% of the tech hires we made last year were women and the overall number of women in technical roles went up by 1 percent. This increase reflects some long-standing investments. For example, in 2010, just 14 percent of the Software Engineers we hired through our outreach at colleges and universities were women. Since then, we’ve invested $3 million in Anita Borg Scholarships (google.com/anitaborg/) for women pursuing computer science degrees, and worked to build a community of women in technology. This past year, 22 percent of software engineers hired through campus outreach were women — more than the percentage of women pursuing CS degrees today (18 percent: http://goo.gl/09pjBl). Other signs in the industry are also showing promise; this year 23 percent of attendees at Google I/O were women, up from 20 percent in 2014, and just 8 percent in 2013
Google also released figures about minority hiring for last year:
The increase in Black and Hispanic Googlers outpaced Google’s hiring growth overall — but they still make up just 2 percent and 3 percent of the company, respectively. Still, we’ve laid groundwork to accelerate representation of Blacks and Hispanics. We’ve doubled the number of universities we recruit from, and we’ve deepened our partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (http://goo.gl/cWy0Lw). On the technical side, our Black and Hispanic communities grew by 39 percent in the U.S., compared to 28 percent tech growth overall. Our non-technical teams in the U.S. grew by 17 percent last year, while the Black community in grew by 38 percent and Hispanic by 22 percent in non-tech.
The figures are far short of those that would make the case for the true job diversity that both Google and other tech companies have espoused, particularly because of outside criticism.
It is worth noting that there are no women among the company’s “executive officers,” and among “senior leadership,” which numbers 15, only three are women. This includes the head of corporate communications, which is a position held by women at many companies.
Google has a long way to go before it can brag about diversity supported by numbers.