Google Is Hiring More Black People, Retaining Them Is A Different Story
Diversity, Equality, Inclusion News Technology

Google Is Hiring More Black People, Retaining Them Is A Different Story

Google HQ in Mountain View, Calif.(iStock/SpVVK)

Google made a pledge to boost the number of Black workers in senior roles and while it has increased Black employment, rising departures show it’s having trouble retaining its workers.

Google announced last June it will improve the number of Black workers in senior roles and fill at least 30% of its leadership roles with minority talent by 2025. The tech company added that 8.8% of its U.S. hires this year were Black compared with 5.5% in 2020.

However, according to Bloomberg, attrition has also increased among Black employees and other racial groups within the company. The highest jump in attrition comes from Black women, Native American women, Latino and Asian men according to Google’s diversity report.

Google was one of the first technology companies to begin compiling and releasing diversity reports, but it’s also struggled in changing the racial and gender diversity of its staff. Overall, Google’s U.S. workforce is more than 50% White, 42% Asian, 6.4% Latinx, 4.4% Black and 0.8% Native American.

Melonie Parker, Google’s chief diversity officer, said in a video Thursday, Google wants to show the areas where they’ve been successful and where they need to keep working.

“We recognize the platform that we have and the brand position that we have, and we know that there are other companies that are watching us, looking at us,” Parker said according to Bloomberg. “And we want to make sure that we don’t just show our successes, but that we show the areas that we need to get better as well.”

Google has also donated millions of dollars to boost Black participation and employment in the tech industry from outside its offices.

Last October, the tech giant donated more than $2 million to Black-owned tech companies based in Atlanta. That same month Google also started a partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to teach digital and tech skills to 20,000 HBCU students.

It also donated $50 million to 10 HBCUs including Howard University, Morgan State University, Xavier University of Louisiana and Spelman College to address the diversity gap in tech.

“Google’s generous gift to create pathways in STEM for HBCU students will propel them into roles and opportunities that prepare them to be 21st-century change agents,” Spelman College President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D, said in a statement. “Having hosted Googlers from the Google-in-Residence program, and having seen the outcomes of our students who have interned at Google and alumnae who are now employed by Google, we are grateful for their comprehensive approach to building equity in computing education.”