Two Google Doodles Help Visualize Google’s Lack of Diversity

    by Matt Stempeck
    May 30, 2014
    These Doodles graph Google's internal figures on employee diversity. Image by Matt Stempeck.

    Disclaimer: I’ve been a contractor with Google’s civic research team this year. I also bought two shares of Google stock a few years ago. This post has nothing to do with either of those two things.

    In a surprising gesture of transparency, Google has released their internal figures on employee diversity. The very first sentence from Google’s Laszlo Block gets to the point: “We’re not where we want to be when it comes to diversity.” The numbers aren’t great, but then again, it’s hard to compare Google to other tech companies of their size and stature because they’re the first to release this information.

    “We’re not where we want to be when it comes to diversity.” -Google's Laszlo Block

    I’ve created two Google Doodles of my own to visualize these statistics:




    It’s apparent in these figures that whites and Asians are doing relatively well in the technology economy, whereas blacks and Hispanics are significantly underrepresented:



    Helpfully, Google’s interactive charts let you filter the diversity figures by “tech” and “leadership.” These numbers are even less flattering than the overall picture. A full 79 percent of Google’s leadership are men, and 72 percent of its leadership is white. (Here’s Google’s official U.S. government form, where they report that they employ zero “craft workers” and not one “operative.”)


    Easter egg: It’s not super obvious, but Google suggests some ways they might help improve these numbers if you click the charts:

    “Women are half the world’s population. We’ve got to increase their participation in computer science and keep women at Google on the path to leadership.”

    “Minority groups are underrepresented in tech and in the U.S. education system. We’ve got to increase early access to computer science and expand our search for the world’s most talented people.”

    Matt Stempeck researches and designs technologies for civic impact and blogs about it at PBS and elsewhere. He has a Master’s of Science from the MIT Media Lab, where he was one of the first two students admitted to the Center for Civic Media. At the Media Lab, Matt quantified media attention to stories like Trayvon Martin, studied the emerging field of peer-to-peer aid, and built creative tools to fight misinformation online. Prior to MIT, Matt led online campaigns, communications, and tech trainings for the New Organizing Institute, Americans for Campaign Reform, and EchoDitto. He graduated with high honors from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he wrote a thesis on the impact of political blogs on mainstream journalism. You can follow him on Twitter at @mstem

    This post originally appeared on the author’s mstem blog.

    Tagged: diverstiy doodle employees google statistics workforce
    • theotherRJH

      The war against whites continues?

    • Stan Hughes

      If you compare the % of those with computer science degrees to those working at Google you find that Google is slightly higher in minorities and women. The problem is that so few minorities and women seek degrees in computer science and engineering. PBS is race baiting in this article

    • Coinspring

      Its time we talk about diversity in the NBA. There are far to many non-whites in that league. This does not accurately reflect our nation!!!

      …that’s about as dumb of an argument as this.

    • mathmaster

      Hi – nice article… However the statistics data table does not add up correctly… Your totals add up to 116% for US Labor Stats and 104% for Google stats

      • mstem

        Good point. The reason that happens is that Hispanic ethnicity is asked as a separate question in these surveys, because it isn’t necessarily tied to race.

    • Art Vandelay

      Please please please
      break down the ‘Whites’ for more meaningful discussion, especially
      discrimination. One race, I.E., Italian, Jewish, Irish, etc., of white
      people is extremely over represented (power, jobs, money, etc. per capita),
      especially at PBS, which can only be from systemic discrimination within one of
      many races of white people. Comparing a specific ‘race’, e.g., black with
      ‘white’ does not make sense.

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