Google has published its first report on the diversity of its workforce, and the web giant admits it has a lot of work to do.
The online ad-slinger revealed its findings on Wednesday, revealing how its employees break down along gender and ethnic lines for the first time. Predictably, perhaps, the report found that Google was in large part staffed by white males – which might explain why it has been hesitant to disclose this information in the past.
According to the report, 70 per cent of Google's employees are men and 61 per cent are white. An additional 30 per cent of Googlers are Asian, while just nine per cent of the firm identifies as Hispanic, black, or multiracial.
The discrepancies are even more pronounced when it comes to the much sought-after engineering and leadership roles at the company. In positions described as "tech" jobs, men held 83 per cent of all roles, with 60 per cent of those jobs held by whites and another 34 per cent by Asians.
Amongst Google leadership, 79 per cent of employees are men and 72 per cent are white.
"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," wrote Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google.
"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."
Bock detailed a number of measures the company is taking in hopes of boosting diversity in its ranks (or at least the perception thereof), including donations made to computer science education for women and funding for computer science programs at historically black universities.
In Google's defense, the firm's makeup is hardly an outlier in the largely male, mostly white world of Silicon Valley and STEM in general, where issues such as pay gaps and educational divides continue to limit diversity.
The National Science Board estimated in 2010 that overall, women held 28 per cent of science and engineering jobs, while Hispanic, black, and native people made up just 10 per cent of such roles. ®