Google says it hit leadership diversity targets before job cuts

Latest data doesn’t account for workers lost in job cuts announced earlier this year

Google hit a goal for diversifying its leadership three years ahead of schedule.

The company met its commitment of boosting leadership representation for underrepresented minorities by 30 per cent in 2022, according to its annual diversity report out on Wednesday. In 2020, Google said it wanted to hit that benchmark by 2025.

The latest data show that Black people make up 5.2 per cent of leadership, up from 2.6 per cent in 2020. Hispanic and Latinx workers make up 4.3 per cent of top roles, up from 3.7 per cent in 2020; for Native American employees those figures are 0.8 per cent in 2023 and 0.5 per cent in 2020.

The company created new onboarding initiatives for Black, Latinx and Indigenous staff at Google in an effort to improve retention rates, according to the report, which did not outline how it defines leadership.


The latest data doesn’t account for workers lost in job cuts announced earlier this year. Widespread lay-offs across the tech industry have hit diversity, equity and inclusion teams particularly hard and threatened company pledges to boost underrepresented groups in their ranks.

Of the largest technology companies, 94 per cent underrepresented Latinx employees and 82 per cent underrepresented Black workers in top jobs, according to a 2020 analysis by jobseeker firm BeamJobs. Black people make up at least 12 per cent of the US population but only 8 per cent of workers in the tech sector, according to a 2023 report by McKinsey & Co.

Black people and other people of colour have long highlighted a lack of diversity in Silicon Valley. This was amplified in the wake of George Floyd’s murder in 2020, after which Google announced a raft of equity commitments. The previous year, the company’s investors demanded the company reform racial and gender diversity following a large walkout by employees.

The tech firm’s concerted effort to diversify management comes as it continues to face accusations of racial discrimination. Google is being sued by a former employee who alleged the company is systematically paying White employees more than their minority counterparts.

Google is now considering revising its target, according to chief diversity officer Melonie Parker.

“We’re taking a look at what more should we be doing there?” Parker said. “We look at the availability of the external talent marketplace compared to what we have internally and the goal of our organisation is to close gaps. So we want to make sure that we’re doing that and staying ahead of the curve.”

Parker declined to comment on specific workforce cuts but said the company remains “very committed to our resources and to our diversity plans and commitments.” – Bloomberg