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Jun 17, 2020

Google says it will hire more Black workers at senior levels

Norman Levine discusses Alphabet


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Alphabet Inc.’s Google says it will try to improve the number of Black workers in senior roles and set a goal of filling at least 30 per cent of leadership positions with employees from underrepresented groups by 2025.

The search giant also said it would hire more people in Atlanta, Washington, Chicago and London, add more support for its Black workers and establish internal anti-racism programs for all employees, according to a Wednesday blog post.

Black workers and other people of color have long pointed out the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley companies like Google, Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc. Those calls have been amplified by the protests against systemic racism and police violence sweeping the nation in the aftermath of the death last month of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Google executives have said diversity in the workforce is a priority, but gains haven’t been fast enough for many activists and employees. The percentage of Black employees at Google grew to just 3.7 per cent in 2020 from 2.4 per cent in 2014, according to the company’s annual diversity report.

In addition to the internal changes, Google announced a US$175-million “economic opportunity package” that will be spent on investments in Black-led venture capital firms and startups, training for Black job seekers and grants for small businesses.

The new workforce diversity commitments come at the same time as Google has said it will slow overall hiring in most parts of its business as it deals with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.