Google pledges to introduce 'racial consciousness' training for employees and boost diversity among its leadership ranks (GOOG)


Sundar Pichai

  • Google has vowed to improve its racial equity and inclusion by outlining several concrete changes, including new training for employees.
  • CEO Sundar Pichai also promised to improve representation of underrepresented groups in the company’s leadership by 30% by 2025.
  • To help do this, the company will increase investments in office locations outside of Mountain View.
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Google has outlined a set of promises to improve the company’s racial equity and inclusion, which will include training on racial consciousness for all employees and boosting diversity among leadership.

In a note sent to employees and published online, CEO Sundar Pichai put forward several changes that Google would make, including a new “multi-series training” for Googlers which will “explore systemic racism and racial consciousness.” Google said it is piloting the program and will roll it out in full next year. 

NBC recently reported that Google had scaled back its racial and diversity training programs in the past few years, including a well-liked program called Sojourn. Google had explained that the program was too difficult to scale globally. 

Google has also promised to improve representation of underrepresented groups in the company’s leadership by 30% by 2025. Google’s recent diversity report showed that just 2.6% of the company’s leadership were Black, the same figure it reported a year before.

To boost that percentage, Google said it will increase its investments in places such as Atlanta, Washington DC, Chicago, and London, where Google has offices.

Google also said it would do more “to address representation challenges and focus on hiring, retentions, and promotion at all levels” of the company.

To do this, Google said it is forming a task force that will include senior members of Google’s Black+ community to “develop concrete recommendations and proposals for accountability across all of the areas that affect the Black+ Googler experience.”

Pichai said Google also will focus on making improvements across Google’s products “that help Black users in the moments that matter most.”

Business Insider previously reported that Google had formed a central “Equity Project Management Office” to review employee suggestions for improving inclusion.

As Google returns to its offices, Pichai said that Google would put an end to its system of having employees badge-checking one another – a system Pichai described as “susceptible to bias.” Instead, Google has developed new procedures to maintain campus security, but didn’t elaborate on the specifics.

Finally, Google is rolling out a $175 million commitment to support Black business owners, founders, and job seekers. This will include $100 million in funding participation in Black-led capital firms startups and organizations supporting Black entrepreneurs.

Google’s improvements to diversity in its workplace have been very incremental. According to the company’s latest diversity report, Black employees comprised 3.7% of Google’s workforce last year.

These latest pledges arrive as Silicon Valley is coming to terms with its long-standing systemic racial problems.

SEE ALSO: Here are the top 10 US colleges that tech giants such as Google, Apple, and Facebook hire from, according to new LinkedIn data

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