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Google is still a club of white men, according to diversity numbers

Google has been dragging their feet on revealing their diversity numbers and it's not surprising why.
By Aileen Graef   |   May 29, 2014 at 6:04 PM   |   Comments

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 29 (UPI) -- Google's newly released diversity numbers show a disappointing number of women and minorities working for the tech and Internet giant.

Google posted the numbers on their blog Wednesday, admitting that they have been failing in diversity and said they are working to improve their statistics.

"We've always been reluctant to publish numbers about the diversity of our workforce at Google. We now realize we were wrong, and that it's time to be candid about the issues. Put simply, Google is not where we want to be when it comes to diversity, and it's hard to address these kinds of challenges if you're not prepared to discuss them openly, and with the facts."

The statistics show70 percent of Google's employees are men and just 30 percent are women, a statistic reflective of the tech industry. The minority numbers are not much better, 61 percent of the staff is white, while only 30 percent of the company's workers are Asian. Four percent of employees are biracial or multiracial, three percent are Hispanic and just two percent are black.

Google attributed these statistics partially to the fact that women only make up 18 percent of those who receive computer science degrees in the U.S. The black and Hispanic population make up 10 percent of graduates from universities in the U.S., and less than five percent graduate with computer science degrees.

In order to combat this, Google said it has been promoting computer science education for women. They also have been working to raise standards on education in computer science programs in historically black colleges and universities like Howard University in Washington, D.C.

"We are delighted that Google and other companies are being more transparent about the percentage of women in their workforce," Telle Whitney, the president and CEO of the Anita Borg Institute, told the PBS NewsHour. "That being said, the numbers are not good. Google's technical workforce is made up of only 17 percent women, which is lower even than the abysmal norm of 20-24 percent."

Tech entrepreneur Vivek Wadwha, who has been a harsh critic of the lack of diversity in the industry, thinks Google's decision could make a difference in changing the numbers in Silicon Valley.

"I think this will put pressure on other companies to release their gender data -- which is good because it will lead to change. Look at all the companies that are now adding women to their boards because they were shamed into it.Things are changing. Silicon Valley can be arrogant and insular, but at the end of the day, it does listen."

Follow @AileenGraef and @UPI on Twitter.
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Topics: Google
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