Google released its 2018 annual diversity report last week detailing the employment makeup of its workforce. The report, released by Danielle Brown, the VP - Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, outlines the diversity efforts led by Google, which shows that white males are still at dominant force in the industry at 61.9 percent. Native American representation sits at the bottom of inclusivity at 0.3 percent.
Brown writes in the report: “It’s been a year since we last reported Google’s workforce representation numbers, so where are we today? Women make up 30.9 percent of our global workforce, and men 69.1 percent.2 In terms of race and ethnicity (U.S. data only) 2.5 percent of Google’s workforce is Black; 3.6 percent is Hispanic/Latinx; 3 36.3 percent is Asian; 4.2 percent is multiracial (two or more races); 0.3 percent are Native American,4 Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; and, 53.1 percent is White. Representation for women, Black, and Latinx Googlers is similar to last year, increasing by only 0.1 percentage point (ppt) for each of these groups.”
From Google Diversity report / Screen capture
In terms of Native representation, Google falls in the middle in comparison to other tech giants Yahoo, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook, though some of the companies do not include percentage numbers.
Big tech - by the numbers
When researching diversity reports, Native representation in the workforce is a small fraction of a percentage in all of the tech companies.
The companies list these percentages as follows:
Yahoo doesn't list Native Americans in their latest 2016 Diversity Report on Tumblr. Two percent of employees make up 'other' as of 2016.
Microsoft lists Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander at 0.2 percent and American Indian/Alaska Native at 0.5 percent as of 2017 according to their 2017 Inside Microsoft report.
Twitter cites the #GrowTogether effort as a way to increase diversity but has only 0.1 percent Native American In their company’s 2017 blog post “Growing Together at Twitter.”
In their 2017 Facebook Diversity Update, the social media company newsroom made no mention of Native representation.
Google's latest is 0.3 percent Native as listed in their 2018 Annual Report.
The numbers are not far from other organizations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s diversity statistics also report 0.3% American Indian / Alaska Native numbers in their workforce.
FBI numbers / FBI Diversity page screen capture
The diversity workforce numbers are not in comparison with the U.S. population. According to the Census population estimates of 2016, American Indian / Alaska Native numbers are 4,055,787 and Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander is 770,032. The American population is 323,405,935.
When including all Native races and those who self-report mixed ancestry that includes Native lineage, the percentage is nearly two percent of the population.
The census will be releasing its 2017 population estimates, considering the growth of the Native population, it is likely the Native populus will be over 2.0 percent of the total U.S. population.
Leadership improving at Google
Google says they have made progress in their leadership ranks by gender and ethnicity. Women hold 25.5 percent of the company’s current leadership positions and that number has increased from 20.8 percent over four years.
Native representation fares a bit better with 0.4 percent of the roles in leadership.
In terms of hiring and tech hiring Natives are at 0.3 percent.
Curiously, annual attrition rates (employees that leave the company) hold a similar value for the races with 90 Native American, 83 Asian, 127 Black, 115 Latinx, and 108 White.
Intersectionality or overlapping of races give Native Americans a boost with 0.8 percent representation.
Investing in tomorrow
In terms of efforts made by Google to invest in minority job placements of the future from underrepresented minority communities, Latinx communities and Historically Black Colleges will be most benefited currently.
In a section titled, “Investing in tomorrow’s talent” Google cites the following initiatives:
We’ve made huge strides in improving the diversity of early pipeline talent. This year our internship program welcomes our largest ever cohort from underrepresented backgrounds, with 49 percent of Google’s global interns identifying as Black, Latinx, and/or women.8 Yet, it’s important to continue to invest in tomorrow’s talent. So we are also deepening our relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the U.S., and extending our programs to the Latinx community.
In 2017, we launched Howard West, a computer science residency program that attracts top software engineering students from the Black community directly to Google. In 2018, we are extending this opportunity to more scholars and faculty to include additional HBCUs and Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSIs). Overall, in 2017, we welcomed 96 students from HBCUs to Google, up from 14 students in 2014. And, since 2014 we’ve more than tripled the number of schools where we recruit, from 75 to 225.
We also invest in future tech talent in underrepresented communities. We offer a three-week computer science course for graduating high school seniors through Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute. Our Google in Residence program sends Googlers out to college campuses across the U.S. to teach students computer science courses. This year, in line with our efforts to support the Latinx community, we’re delighted to expand our Google in Residence program to include HSIs. Over the past five years, we’ve grown this program to 10 schools. And in the fall, we’ll add three additional schools, including two HSIs. To date, we’ve engaged over 1,500 students through the Google in Residence program, and look forward to serving many more.
Tribal colleges are not listed on Google’s radar as of yet.
Brown concludes, “Google’s workforce data demonstrates that if we want a better outcome, we need to evolve our approach. That’s why from now on ownership for diversity and inclusion will be shared between Google’s leadership team, People Operations, and Googlers. It’s also why we are all committed to accelerating progress, generating equitable outcomes, and ensuring our culture is supportive for everyone. Our strategy doesn’t provide all the answers, but we believe it will help us find them.”
You can view Google’s Annual Diversity Report for 2018 here.
Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor and senior correspondent, Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter -@VinceSchilling