Exposing Hidden Bias at Google

Farhad Manjoosept, New York Times, September 25, 2014

{snip}

Men make up 83 percent of Google’s engineering employees and 79 percent of its managers. In a report to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last year, Google said that of its 36 executives and top-ranking managers, just three are women.

Google’s leaders say they are unhappy about the firm’s poor gender diversity, and about the severe underrepresentation of blacks and Hispanics among its work force.

And so they are undertaking a long-term effort to improve these numbers, the centerpiece of which is a series of workshops aimed at making Google’s culture more accepting of diversity.

There’s just one problem: The company has no solid evidence that the workshops, or many of its other efforts to improve diversity, are actually working.

In some ways Google’s plan to fix its diversity issues resembles many of its most ambitious product ideas, from self-driving cars to wiring the country for superfast Internet.

As in those efforts, it has set a high goal in this case: to fight deep-set cultural biases and an insidious frat-house attitude that pervades the tech business. Tech luminaries make sexist comments so often that it has ceased to be news when they do.

Google is attacking the problem with its considerable resources and creativity. But it does not have a timeline for when the company’s work force might become representative of the population, or whether it will ever get there.

“I think it’s terrific that they’re doing this,” said Freada Kapor Klein, an entrepreneur who has long studied workplace diversity, and who is the co-chairwoman of the Kapor Center for Social Impact. “But it’s going to be important that Google not just give a lecture about the science, but that there be active strategies on how to mitigate bias. A one-shot intervention against a lifetime of biased messages is unlikely to be successful.”

Google says its plan isn’t one-shot. It points out that it has been trying to improve its diversity for years by sponsoring programs to increase the number of women and minorities who go into tech, and meticulously studying the way it hires people in an effort to reduce bias.

{snip}

Google’s diversity training workshops, which began last year and which more than half of Google’s nearly 49,000 employees have attended, are based on an emerging field of research in social psychology known as unconscious bias. These are the hidden, reflexive preferences that shape most people’s worldviews, and that can profoundly affect how welcoming and open a workplace is to different people and ideas.

{snip}

Improving diversity wasn’t just a feel-good goal for Google. Citing research that shows diverse teams can be more creative than homogeneous ones, Mr. Bock argued that a diverse work force could be good for Google’s business. {snip}

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Bunky

    Hey white boy,
    don’t get hired at google.
    You aren’t going anywhere unless the black overlords Ok it.

  • D.B. Cooper

    If these “Google leaders” want more diversity, then howz about stepping down and let a diversity take your place? Larry Page (CEO and Co-Founder) and Eric E. Schmidt (Executive Chairman), Lead the way! Meanwhile, I guess I’ll continue to use some other search engine.

    • that’s right . . .google can manage without their overqualified, overpaid nonsense .

      • APaige

        The best part was “Citing research that shows diverse teams can be more creative than homogeneous ones,” really? Like at Apple…

        • Don’t laugh. There’s a brand new iPhone 6 waiting for you just around the bend.

          In case that went over your head, look up bendgate.

          • Tim_in_Indiana

            As with other tech companies, the engineers at Apple are white, with a few Asians. Blacks show up only in figurehead roles

    • MekongDelta69

      Don’t forget the other ‘evil straight White male’ co-founder – Sergey Brin.

    • Lewis33

      The are both members of a ahem, minority.

      • Tim_in_Indiana

        I’m afraid my radar in that area isn’t very finely-tuned. Maybe it would be easier to point out the top movers and shakers in our society who aren’t.

      • Jimmy Joseph

        Yeah Google is very different from Microsoft (Bill Gates) or Apple (Tim Cook)?

        I mean Bill Gates or Tim Cook would never push for diversity at the expensive of White males.

        They are non “Zionist” white males, therefore, they would never support diversity.

        Only dem “Jooz” do that, right?

        • Copenhagen23

          You don’t have to be Jewish to be Zionist. However Apples co-founder is a Jew, and Andy Herzfield, a Jew, is called “the soul of Apple”. Bill Gates is a Jew. Microsoft CEO is a Jew and the CEO before him was a Jew.

          • Jimmy Joseph

            Bill Gates is a Jew? LOL. On Stormfront, all billionaires are “Jews”

            I have looked into his lineage. He is full blooded WASP.

            The CEO and the board of Apple are mostly non Jewish. How are there diversity policies compared to Google?

            There doesn’t appear to be a correlation between the amount of Jews in the company and “diversity” directives.

            Companies with far fewer Jews are still into “diversity” as much. Those were just two examples.

          • WR_the_realist

            Wealthy non-Jewish whites are just as eager to shove diversity down our throats as wealthy Jews are. In no case do any of them propose to increase diversity by firing themselves and replacing themselves with black lesbian Muslims.

          • Jimmy Joseph

            Correct.

            Diversity for thee but not for me.

            Only your job should be outsourced. Never theirs.

    • Harry Largo

      Diversity should start at the top. Put Malik and Shantasia in charge.

      • Gary John 金白龍

        Obama is at the ‘top’.

  • anony

    These “techie-types” are supposed to be smart.

    How smart is it to do these stupid things like studying “unconscious bias”.

    There is no honesty left in these places.

    • R L Buds

      from the article “and meticulously studying the way it hires people in an effort to reduce bias.”
      In other words “we have to lower our standards, as usual”.

  • JackKrak

    D’Google – the black-run and owned search engine.

    No matter what term you put in the search field, it returns results about when the new Air Jordans will be available, how to sign up for Section 8 housing and contact information for bail bondsmen in your area.

    • IOW, World Star Hip Hop.

    • Fathercoughlin

      Black search engine:You park your car in a black hood,when you come back you have to SEARCH for the engine…the tires…the radio…the GPS…

  • Ed

    I think the HR director of Google should start the diversity push there by giving his job up to a woman or better yet a black woman. Traditionally HR roles are reserved for women and blacks so he’s in a position that could be given to minority or woman.

    Lead by example, that’s my motto.

  • MekongDelta69

    “Citing research that shows diverse teams can be more creative than homogeneous ones.”

    • IstvanIN

      I doubt Frieda is an entrepreneur, she probably lives off the government teat (aka grants). You would be surprised all the non-profits our government supports.

  • TruthBeTold

    One would believe that Google should be able to write a near-perfect algorithm to select the perfect candidate for any job. Unless they already do have the algorithm but it keeps giving them politically incorrect candidates.

    • 1stworlder

      Where are all the smart blacks we see on fictional TV?

      • dd121

        That’s just it, they’re fictional.

  • There is no hidden bias at Google. The only bias is that in order to work at Google, you have to be the nerd’s nerd’s nerd, and such work appeals to individuals of very high quantitative IQ. Which means you’re going to hire mostly white men and some Asian men.

  • propagandaoftruth

    Google’s diversity training workshops, which began last year and which more than half of Google’s nearly 49,000 employees have attended, are based on an emerging field of research in social psychology known as unconscious bias. These are the hidden, reflexive preferences that shape most people’s worldviews, and that can profoundly affect how welcoming and open a workplace is to different people and ideas.
    ———————–

    Sometimes a witch is unaware he is a witch. Through this new fantasmic jibbermajabberage, witches can be more easily identified by scientifical unconscious witchery analysis.

    It’s all very scientifical, you see, the socialist sciences. Studying verifiable phenomena and ferreting out thought heretics using the latest scientifical methodology cooked up by self hating White Eloi witch hunters and their upjumped pet blacks and browns.

    This is the good stuff, folks, the best socialist scientificalism has to offer. How to prove White men are all racist.

    • Robert Binion

      I wonder if one can learn to be racist when dreaming. I sure could use a good night’s sleep.

    • anony

      “How to prove White men are all racist.”

      If that were true, we would be rejoicing!!

      “Sometimes a witch is unaware he is a witch.”

      This gender bending can really get confusing. A witch is female…traditionally. A warlock is male…traditionally. Now if the “witch” thinks “he”…. oh, never mind.

      • propagandaoftruth

        Never overthink it, man.

  • The few tech guys I know who work with diversity tell me that diversity can’t do the job. For a big company that ought to be the only criteria for employment. But for political reasons these companies can’t state the truth: Blacks, Mexicans, and women can’t do the work.

    It might be cheaper to do what the universities do. Just hire them and put them in phony jobs with no real responsibilities. But make sure you hide the deadheads because the people actually working get really p-eed off at seeing incompetence rewarded for political reasons.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    Tech luminaries make sexist comments so often that it has ceased to be news when they do.

    And these “sexist comments” include saying “him” instead of “him or her” in speeches.

    Google says its plan isn’t one-shot. It points out that it has been trying to improve its diversity for years

    Apparently, “improving diversity” is a very, very hard thing to do…at least if you want to maintain a functioning company.

  • Mary

    It must be nice to live free of the shackles of political correctness, “White guilt”, and pathological altruism.

  • dd121

    Googleites may be liberals but they’re bright enough to realize that building Google requires people with high IQs; not brown bodies.

  • 4321realist

    “Exposing Hidden Bias at Google”

    Zuckerberg and his minions are out-of-touch naïve fools who deserve what they’re going to get.

    I’d absolutely LOVE to see this evil org replaced by a neutral company.

  • Couldn’t happen to a nicer company.

  • Rhialto

    Note that White men are obligated to promote the interests of women and Minorities. While the best that White men can expect from these groups is rational self interest and absence of malice.

    • Jimmy Joseph

      Very correct.

    • LIBERTYSINCURSION

      Exactly! Which is why I constantly see black people who are debating < if you can even call what they do "debating" ) White people online saying things like, "mannnnn pleeze son,,,,, you clamez dat youz aint rayciss but whachue do fo da black comunitee lateley son, na-imeen?" Black entitlement is enormous, and why shouldn't it be with so many Whites constantly capitulating.

  • Jimmy Joseph

    White males will continue to be pushed out of good jobs in America. They are being discriminated against in academia, business, government, etc.

    Scary times to be a younger White male.

    Really tough to get a job when women and minorities are given majority preference.

    It appears that White men are on their “own”.

  • Samuel Hathaway

    The title of the article should say, “EXPOSING RADICAL BIGOTRY OF THE MULTICULTURALISTS” who target any and every successful white enterprise, and then threaten when normal-thinking people refuse to go along

  • JohnEngelman

    To be competitive at a top tier tech firm like Google one probably needs an IQ in excess of 130. No amount of diversity training can change the fact that hardly any blacks or Hispanics qualify.

    • Guest

      John, once again you set the bar higher than could ever be achieved. You are 40 points higher than possible with your dream.

  • JohnEngelman

    “Software, is an IQ business. Microsoft must win the IQ war, or we won’t have a future.”

    – Bill Gates

    ———-

    “In philosophy, or religion, or ethics, or politics, two and two might make five, but when one was designing a gun or an aeroplane they had to make four.”

    ― George Orwell, 1984

    ———-

    The dean of admissions of a university can pretend that IQ scores do not matter, that blacks have “other abilities” and so on. When blacks admitted to achieve diversity flunk out or drop out the university can still deposit the tuition money in the bank.

    Hiring managers in fields as competitive as high tech need to know that IQ scores do matter, and that if they do not get the most intelligent available applicants, their competitors will. They need to know that employees hired because of affirmative action are probably going to be dead weight.

  • AmericanCitizen

    You can’t affirmative action raw intelligence. That’s the bottom line fact that all the liberal/progressives can’t understand.

  • Gary John 金白龍

    When can we expose the hidden “hostile elite” at the publishing houses, the White House, and Wall Street?

    • anony

      You can if you want to be totally ostracized. Otherwise, say nothing.

      The problem with that strategy is that no war was ever won by not identifying the enemy.

  • Paleoconn

    I don’t think Schmidt is.

  • Paleoconn

    You never hear them say too many Chinese or Jews. You never hear too many blacks in the NBA. You never hear not enough women in coal mines or as garbage collectors or janitors.

  • Dale McNamee

    Can’t wait until “diversity” creates really crappy Google & Apple products in a few years ! Also, if everybody’s a highly educated & qualified engineer, I don’t see what “diversity” brings to operating systems and hardware… Binary code and transistors,capacitors,etc. do their jobs despite it…

    It would be interesting to see how “diverse” the employees are when it comes to lunch hour, “happy hour”, and other “Off-line” activities…