The percentage of black hires in the US grew from 4.8 percent in 2018 to 5.5 percent in 2019, a paltry 0.7 percent increase. That’s according to Google’s seventh consecutive diversity report, released in early May.
Google’s workforce representation for most underrepresented groups also saw only a minor uptick. For example, black and Latinx employees accounted for 9.6 percent of the US workforce in 2019, up from nine percent in 2018. The percentage of black employees in leadership roles was flat while the percentage of Latinx employees in leadership positions increased by just 0.4 percent.
A Spencer Stuart report released recently paints a slightly brighter picture for representation among chief marketing officers (CMOs); in 2019, of all new CMOs, 19 percent were from racially and/or ethnically diverse backgrounds, compared to zero in 2018.
Google did, however, see the largest increase in its hiring of black technical employees since its first report in 2014, albeit a small increase—0.7 percent.
Google’s representation of black employees may appear underactive, but this year’s findings are actually milestones; in addition to its hiring percentage of black technical employees being the largest in the US since Google started publishing diversity data, its hiring percentage of black non-tech employees in the US also saw the largest increase since 2015.
The company’s percentage of Latinx technical employees, on the other hand, grew by just 0.2 percent. Still, the amount of overall Latinx hires declined from 6.8 percent in 2018 to 6.6 percent in 2019.
Additional findings show little progress for women too. Female employees represented 33.2 percent of global hires in 2018, dipping to 32.5 percent in 2019. In the same time, the number of women hired for technical positions remained stagnant, at about 25.6 percent. Google hired more women for leadership roles though, up by 0.6 percent.
Though the data show otherwise, Google has launched small initiatives in an effort to achieve gender parity. For example, job postings run through its bias removal tool resulted in an 11 percent increase in applications from women.
The report also includes attrition rates; in 2019, Latinx attrition in the US reached below the Google average while women continued to have an inferior attrition rate. Attrition grew significantly for black women while it was highest for Native Americans.
The percentage of Native American employees in leadership positions dropped by 0.2 percent.
Globally, women represented 40 percent of interns in tech roles, and blacks and Latinx represented 24 percent of US interns.
Google attributes its “recent progress” to equipping leaders with workforce data and managers who work closely with the company’s diversity experts to identity opportunities that align with its company-wide objective to “advance a diverse, accessible, and inclusive Google.”
Google admits it has work to do to increase underrepresented talent in its workforce, which is why it’s also collecting race and ethnicity data worldwide through a voluntary self ID campaign.