Google Hires New Diversity Chief as Report Shows Modest Progress

Google Hires New Diversity Chief as Report Shows Modest Progress

Danielle Brown, a former VP, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, and Group CHRO at Intel, is joining Google as its new Vice President of Diversity, Google’s VP of People Operations Eileen Naughton announced in a blog post on Thursday. Brown’s appointment coincides with the release of Google’s latest diversity report, which Naughton points to as evidence of the progress the company is making in improving representation of women and people of color in its workforce:

Google’s updated workforce representation data shows that overall women make up 31 percent of our employees. In the past three years, women in tech roles have grown from 17 percent to 20 percent (from 19 percent to 20 percent over the last year) and women in leadership roles have grown from 21 percent to 25 percent (from 24 percent to 25 percent over the last year).

In the same period, our Black non-tech population has grown from 2 percent to 5 percent (from 4 percent to 5 percent over the last year). And in the past year, Hispanic Googlers have grown from 3 percent to 4 percent of our employees.

Naughton acknowledges, however, that Google still has a ways to go before it meets its diversity and inclusion goals. As Fortune’s Grace Donnelly points out, the company hasn’t made much progress in terms of racial and ethnic diversity in the past year:

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 last report, issued in early July 2016, showed that its overall percentage of non-white, non-Asian employees in the United States did not change in 2015 from the year before, standing at 2 percent for African Americans, 3 percent for Hispanics, 3 percent for multiracial individuals and less than 1 percent for Native American and Pacific Islanders. Women made up 31 percent of its workforce in 2015 as well.

Notwithstanding its limited progress on diversity (which is by no means unique among its peers in the tech sector), Google has taken several steps in the past year to develop its pipeline of qualified candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds: The company launched a tech lab for young people in the predominantly black and Hispanic city of Oakland, California last fall, and gave $1 million in grants to organizations working on youth education in the Bay Area’s Hispanic communities. In March, Google launched a partnership with the historically black Howard University, opening a residency program at its Mountain View, California campus where computer science majors will take classes team-taught by Howard professors and Google engineers.