Google released its new diversity report today, for the fourth year in a row. The tech giant, whose parent company Alphabet lands at 27 on this year's Fortune 500 list, has voluntarily released demographic data about its workforce each year since 2014 as part of its efforts to create a more inclusive culture — a process that employees say has been “slow but real."
The company also announced that Danielle Brown will become Google’s new vice president of diversity. Brown previously worked as the chief diversity and inclusion officer at Intel. She left the company very recently, but hadn't yet announced that she'd be joining Google.
"To push our work forward, we’re thrilled that Danielle Brown will be joining Google as our new Vice President of Diversity," wrote Eilleen Naughton, Google's Vice President of People Operations in a blog post accompanying the diversity report. "She’ll start in July, and comes with the deep conviction that Google provides a platform where she and the team can make a real impact internally and across the tech industry."
The updated workforce data shows that women make up 31% of all employees at Google. Twenty percent of Google tech workers are women, up from 17% three years ago. And women hold one in four leadership roles at the company.
Progress for increasing representation for racial and ethnic minorities among Google’s workforce has been slower.
While Google released summary stats about women in its global workforce, the race data is based on its EEO-1 Report which includes only its U.S. employees.
The number of Black U.S. employees remained stagnant over the past year at 2% of the total workforce and 1% of tech workers. The number of Hispanic and Latinx employees also saw little change, increasing from 3% to 4% over the last year.
Diversity among new hires at the company was relatively flat as well.
In 2016 women were 21% of the hires in tech roles while Black and Hispanic or Latinx candidates made up 3% and 4% of all new hires, respectively.
Google's overall workforce is 56% White, 35% Asian, 4% two or more races, 4% Hispanic or Latinx, 2% Black and less than 1% American Indian or Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. On its report, Google groups the last two categories together under the heading "Other."
According to an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission report on diversity in the tech industry, tech firms hire a larger share of White, Asian, and male employees than the private sector overall.
Black and Hispanic or Latinx workers make up 14.4% and 13.9% of the private workforce overall, respectively. In the tech sector as a whole they are 7.4% and 8% of employees.
Women are also underrepresented, making up just 36% of tech employees compared to 48% of all workers.
The lack of inclusion for women and minorities in tech is recognized as a problem across the tech industry. But studies have shown that when actual data isn't shared about worker demographics, tech employees tend to overestimate the diversity of the workforce.
As one of only 16 companies on the Fortune 500 list that makes their employee demographics public, Google is taking an important step in becoming a more inclusive company. Naughton said in a blog post that Google's employees, products and business are at stake when it comes to getting diversity and inclusion right.
“We all welcome the conversation and the scrutiny,” she wrote. “It helps us raise the bar in terms of this important work and our commitment to it.”