After resisting for awhile, Google has released data on the gender and ethnicity breakdown of their workforce.
Unsurprisingly, the company’s numbers reflect the fact that the tech industry is largely a white man’s world. Only 30 percent of Google’s 46,170 workers worldwide are women, and just 17 percent of its technical employees are women. Over 60 percent are white. Asian Americans make up 30 percent, while African-Americans make up just 2 percent and Hispanics make up 3 percent.
In a blog post releasing the data, the company said, “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.” While they don’t get into specifics about how they’ll work to do better, they do point to the pipeline problem when it comes to recruiting a more diverse workforce, noting that women earn roughly 18 percent of all computer science degrees in the US.
That’s certainly part of the challenge — god knows girls are subtly dissuaded from science, math, and technology careers from a very early age — but we also know that the industry bears some of the blame for maintaining a notoriously sexist culture. Just last week, a group of women in tech penned a manifesto, detailing the sexist bullshit that’s happened in just the last few weeks, and saying enough is enough.
MoJo got a hold of the diversity data from Silicon Valley’s top 10 companies, which shows that Google is fairly average for the industry in its recruitment of women, but has even fewer African-American and Latino employees than other major tech firms. Hopefully other companies will follow Google’s lead in being transparent about the extent of the problem — and hopefully in searching for solutions, the industry won’t just look outside their companies but inside as well.
Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing.