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Google’s Latest Report Shows It Still Hasn’t Fixed Its Diversity Problem

June 15, 2018, 10:51 AM UTC

Google released its fifth annual diversity report on Thursday, and the results are, well, not that diverse.

The top line? There are slightly fewer white people and slightly more Asians employed by the tech giant. The needle barely moved when it came to women, and particularly women of color.

Women now constitute 30.9% of the global Google workforce, as compared to 30.8% last year. Google is now 2.5% black and 3.6% latino in its U.S. offices, both also a one-tenth percentage point increase from the year prior.

Globally, Google is 3% black and 5.3% latino. Women in both groups are still underrepresented: 1.2% of Google’s global population are black women, and 1.7% of its global population are latina women, Techcrunch reports.

The company also noted that its current reporting methods of gender is “not inclusive of our non-binary population,” explaining that it intends to look for alternate methods to measure gender in reports to come.

The biggest change in the U.S. appears to have been in its white representation in the workforce: white workers, although still the majority, dropped more than 2 percentage points to 53.1%. Asians, meanwhile, grew more than a percentage point to 36.3%.

While the overall global and U.S.-specific numbers were not particularly encouraging, the company did report successes in increasing representation at the leadership level. Global women leaders has reached 25.5%, up from 20.8% in 2014.

For the first time, Google also included information about retention/attrition rates in its report. While women tend to leave at a slightly lower rate than men overall, black and latino people of both genders are leaving at a higher rate than other groups.

Google acknowledged that the attrition rates may in turn have an effect on its ability to increase representation of these minority groups. Danielle Brown, Google’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, noted that the company is “working hard to better understand what drives higher attrition and taking focused measures to improve it.” Google intends to not just focus on increasing hiring of underrepresented groups, but also work toward “creating an inclusive culture.”

Nevertheless, Brown conceded to TechCrunch that she is not entirely certain of what success looks like for Google. Calling it a “long game,” Brown said, “Do we ever get to good? I don’t know. I’m optimistic we’ll continue to make progress. It’s not a challenge we’ll solve overnight.”