This summer, a range of U.S. tech companies have made the move to reveal the demographic statistics on how diverse its workforces are — or aren’t — in terms of gender and ethnicity. Google led the charge, revealing that its global workforce is only 30 percent female and 61 percent white.
The Atlantic’s Adrienne LaFrance recently noted that all of the companies to follow adopted the formula that Google established when it kicked off the summer of diversity data reports. Someone at the company writes a blog post on the importance of diversity/outlining diversity-related initiatives that the company has undertaken; the post includes colorful graphs to cheerfully illustrate the small share of women and minorities that the company employs; and when asked for comment, executives and representatives interview requests and refer everyone back to the original blog post.
While the majority of the web and social media companies to go public with their diversity data so far have been apologetic about its relative lack of diversity (91 percent of Google’s workforce is either white or Asian), and have indeed listed off in great numbers the initiatives it has embarked upon, the organizations that it has supported, and the programs that it has partnered with to improve the industry’s diversity, only a few thoughtfully addressed the reasons behind the statistics in its reports.
Google’s report was one of the few that did, and spoke at some length about how the traditional dearth of female students and students of ethnic minorities studying computer science is a factor in the industry’s struggle to hire a balanced workforce.