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Google's diversity numbers haven't changed, but the conversation has

Sharon Florentine | June 24, 2015
"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." This mea culpa constituted something of a bombshell in Silicon Valley when it was published on Google's blog in May 2014. That the Valley's demographics are overwhelmingly white and male is obvious to anyone who's been paying attention, but actually admitting it publicly? Well, that just wasn't done. Until Google, that is.

"Though we still have a long way to go, we're seeing some early progress," Google says in the blog post.

What may be more important than the hard numbers is the fact that conversations around diversity, privilege and inclusiveness are taking place at all, especially in an IT culture as insular as Silicon Valley, according to Bischke. "Their numbers aren't great, but they are at least making these efforts and trying to be extremely transparent about them. You have to give them credit for leading the conversation — yes, everyone would love to see the numbers increase more quickly, but in the meantime people are looking at these issues in ways they never would have before. Google's setting the bar that not many others were willing to even touch, for what that's worth."

 

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