Posted on June 15, 2018

Google Has a Hard Time Holding onto Its Black Employees

Sara Ashley O'Brien, CNN, June 15, 2018

Google’s employee attrition rates are highest for black and Hispanic employees.

That’s according to the company’s annual diversity report, released this week. For the first time, the report included data around employee attrition to gauge retention of certain cohorts of employees.

According to the report, Google’s difficulty in retaining black Google employees has offset some of its hiring gains and led to smaller increases in representation than if it had been able to keep employees already at the company.

“Attrition rates in 2017 were highest for Black Googlers followed by Latin Googlers, and lowest for Asian Googlers,” the report said. {snip}

Google’s black and Hispanic employees make up 2.5% and 3.6% of US employees, according to the report.


For the first time, the report looked at the intersection of race and gender for employees; black women and Hispanic women make up the smallest percentages of the workforce.


Google’s latest diversity report reveals leadership is 74.5% male and 66.9% white.


Knapp [Irene Knapp, a software engineer at Google] also called out a more immediate need to boost the safety and well-being of minority employees.

“The lack of clear, communicated policies and actions to advance diversity and inclusion with concrete accountability and leadership from senior executives has left many of us feeling unsafe and unable to do our work,” Knapp said.

Google’s company culture has been called into question over the past year.


The latest diversity report also marks the first report since James Damore’s controversial diversity memo critiquing Google’s diversity policies that was widely circulated last summer. Parts of the memo were condemned by CEO Sundar Pichai, such as claims that women aren’t well represented in tech due to “biological” reasons. Damore, and another former engineer, sued Google in January for discrimination.