Google’s latest diversity report shows jump in departures among women of color

Despite notable advances in the number of Black employees, Google’s recent diversity report shows that the firm is falling short of its target of doubling the number of Black employees by 2025. According to the research issued Thursday (pdf), the search giant is having particular trouble retaining women of color.

Google utilizes an attrition index as a metric, with 100 serving as a standard. According to the research, the attrition rate for Black women on that index increased from 110 in 2020 to 146 in 2021. The attrition index for Native American women increased to 148 in 2021, up from 123 in 2020. Asian men and women, as well as Latinx men, had higher attrition rates in 2021.

In a video that accompanied the study, Google chief diversity officer Melonie Parker said, “We acknowledge the platform that we have and the brand position that we have, and we know that there are other firms that are watching us and looking at us.” “And we want to make sure that we don’t simply emphasize our accomplishments, but also the areas where we need to improve.”

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The business made modest success toward its diversity and inclusion targets, increasing the number of Black employees employed to 7.1 percent from 3.6 percent the year before, and increasing the number of women in Google leadership globally from 26.7 percent to 28.1 percent.

Despite this, the research shows that Google’s US workforce is 68 percent male and 32 percent female. Google employs 50% white people in the United States, compared to 42% Asian, 6.4 percent Latinx, 4.4 percent Black, and 0.8 percent Native American.

And Google came under fire late last year and early this year for how it handled the firing of Black AI ethics researcher Timnit Gebru after she published a study raising concerns about the hazards of huge language models. Gebru accused Google of bigotry and revenge, and he was subjected to months of online harassment as a result.

Sundar Pichai, the business’s CEO, stated in a blog post in October that by 2025, the company wanted to double the number of Black employees and boost the number of minority workers in senior positions by 30%. Pichai wrote, “We’ll hold ourselves accountable for establishing an inclusive workplace.”

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