Getting to work on diversity at Google

We’ve always been reluctant to publish numbers about the diversity of our workforce at Google. We now realize we were wrong, and that it’s time to be candid about the issues. Put simply, Google is not where we want to be when it comes to diversity, and it’s hard to address these kinds of challenges if you’re not prepared to discuss them openly, and with the facts. So, here are our numbers:
There are lots of reasons why technology companies like Google struggle to recruit and retain women and minorities. For example, women earn roughly 18 percent of all computer science degrees in the United States. Blacks and Hispanics make up under 10 percent of U.S. college grads and collect fewer than 5 percent of degrees in CS majors, respectively. So we’ve invested a lot of time and energy in education.

Among other things, since 2010 we’ve given more than $40 million to organizations working to bring computer science education to women and girls. And we’ve been working with historically black colleges and universities to elevate coursework and attendance in computer science. For example, this year Google engineer Charles Pratt was in-residence at Howard University, where he revamped the school’s Intro to CS curriculum.

But we’re the first to admit that Google is miles from where we want to be—and that being totally clear about the extent of the problem is a really important part of the solution. To learn more about our work on diversity—for our our workforce, for the web and for the tech leaders of the future—visit

Help inspire the next generation of technology creators: Apply for a 2014 RISE Award

Inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers is crucially important—breakthroughs don't happen without people to make them. We want students to not just be consumers of technology, but also creators of it; to enrich not only their own lives, but those of their communities. That's the motivation behind the Google RISE (Roots in Science and Engineering) Awards.
Given once a year, Google RISE Awards are designed to promote and support education initiatives to increase engagement in science and technology, especially computer science. Google grants awards of $15,000 - $50,000 USD to non-for-profit organizations around the world working to expand access to these fields for K-12/Pre-University students, specifically girls and underrepresented groups.

In 2013, 30 organizations received RISE grants—with projects ranging from robotics contests in Germany to programming challenge days for girls in New Zealand. In June, we brought all of our partners together for a Global Summit. It was an inspiring meeting, and since the Summit several organizations have begun to work together to expand their reach.

For example, our RISE partners in Nigeria, WAAW Foundation and W-TEC, have teamed up to organize a one-week residential Advanced STEM Camp. The program launched this week and will provide 27 public school girls exposure to robotics. Over in Argentina, an organization already connecting Belgium to Argentina is is now collaborating with another on programming workshops for students and teachers. And organizations in Liberia and India are sharing resources to overcome common challenges in access to technology for girls.
The hard work of RISE organizations has also drawn support from leading figures such as President Obama, Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny and HRH Prince Andrew.

We’re looking for more organizations to partner with in 2014. Submit your application by September 30, 2013. You can submit your application in English, French, Japanese, Russian or Spanish; all eligible countries are listed on our website. Show us what you can do to get students excited about STEM and CS!

Celebrating Pride 2013

Thousands of Googlers, Gayglers (LGBT Googlers), and their families and friends took to the streets last month to participate in Pride parades and celebrations around the globe. Pride had a special buzz this year, as DOMA and Prop 8 were struck down by the Supreme Court three days before the parades, marking an important step toward equal rights for all.

We supported our fellow Gayglers and others around the world with recording-breaking attendance at parades in San Francisco (well over 1300 Googlers and allies) and New York (500+ participants). In other parts of the world, we marched in celebrations in London, Budapest, Dublin, Tel Aviv, and Tokyo Rainbow Week 2013. We floated along the canals in Amsterdam Pride parade, marched in the Mardi Gras parade in Sydney and will gather in Hong Lim park for Singapore's 3rd annual Pink Dot celebration.

We had some big firsts this year all around the world as well:
  • Gayglers hosted a Pride@Google Speaker Series for the month of June, where speakers ranging from NFL stars to community leaders to Prop 8 Plaintiffs Kris Perry and Sandy Stier came to share their messages at Google.
  • LGBT celebrations were held for the first time in Hyderabad and Google was there! In India, our contingent of over 30 people made it to the cover of many local newspapers.
  • Though we have participated in Sao Paulo’s Pride parade in previous years, this year, Google was proud to be the first corporate sponsor thanks to the hard work of the Sao Paulo Gayglers. More than 100 Googlers marched—doubling participation from last year.
  • Google participated for the first time in celebrations in Mexico City, Paris and Hamburg.
  • We kicked off a collaboration with two founding partners called 'We Are Open' in Hungary that joins together companies, organizations and communities that are committed to openness. More than 100 organizations signed up to make a stand for diversity and we'll show our united front at Budapest Pride on Saturday, July 6.

Our LGBT efforts are not just once a year during Pride, either. Earlier this year, we worked with Creative Lab to create a grassroots employee video for, an organization supporting marriage equality in the four U.S. states where it was on the ballot this past year. Google also co-wrote an article to the United States Supreme Court explaining why Gay Marriage is Good for Business. We supported the citizens of France by hosting marriage ceremonies over Hangouts and we recently launched a YouTube Spotlight Channel and campaign, #ProudtoLove, dedicated to celebrating LGBT Pride.

We’re proud of all our Googlers and excited about what was accomplished this year! We’re glad to have ended Pride month on such an inspiring note of equality. For more photos, click here.

Congratulations to the 2013 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholars

Dr. Anita Borg revolutionized the way we think about technology and worked to dismantle the barriers that keep women and minorities from entering the computing and technology fields. In her lifetime, Anita founded the Institute for Women and Technology (now The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology), began an online community called Systers for technical women, and co-founded the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. We’re proud to honor her memory through the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, established in 2004.

Today we’d like to recognize and congratulate the 30 Google Anita Borg Memorial scholars and the 30 Google Anita Borg Memorial finalists for 2013. The scholars, who attend universities in the United States and Canada, will join the annual Google Scholars’ Retreat this summer in New York City, where they will have the opportunity to attend tech talks on Google products, network with other scholars and Googlers, participate in developmental activities and sessions, and attend social activities. This year, the scholars will also have the opportunity to participate in a scholars’ edition of 24HoursOfGood, a hackathon in partnership with local non-profit organizations who work on education and STEM initiatives to make progress against a technical problem that is critical to their organization’s success.

Find out more (PDF) about our winners, including the institutions they attend. Soon we’ll select the Anita Borg scholars from our programs around the world. For more information on all our scholarships, visit the Google Scholarships site.

Voices of women in technology

A diverse workforce is critical in helping us build products that can help people change the world. That includes diversity of all life experiences, including gender.

Women were some of the first programmers and continue to make a major impact on the programming world today. We think it’s important to highlight the great work women are doing in computer science, to help provide role models for young women thinking about careers in computing.

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day, and as one of our contributions to the celebration, we’re proud to support Voices Global Conference, presented by Global Tech Women. As part of this 24-hour live streamed event, Google will provide more than a dozen hours of free talks featuring women working in computer science, beginning today. To access the full schedule and our ongoing broadcasts, see our section on the Voices website, which will be updated throughout the day.

The Voices Global Conference is the brainchild of Global Tech Women’s founder Deanna Kosaraju, who also started India’s Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in 2010 with grant support from Google. The India conferences, which provide a forum for women to share their professional and research work in computing, have grown rapidly, with more than 800 attendees in 2012. So when Deanna proposed this global, 24-hour streamed conference, we knew it was a great opportunity to help women and other audiences around the world learn more and get inspired about the contributions women are making to technology and computer science.

Our sessions will feature a range of material, from new episodes of the Women Techmakers series and interviews with women leaders like the head of Lexity India Mani Abrol, to discussions focusing on technologies like Google Compute Engine. For a sneak peek of the type of content we’ll be providing, check out Pavni’s story below, produced in conjunction with PBS’ MAKERS series. I’ve provided advice to many young people in India interested in studying computer science and pursuing their own dreams—so Pavni’s tenacity, coupled with the encouragement and support she received from her father, resonated with me. We’re excited to share her story and others like it alongside technical conversations and discussions on women in technology as part of this conference.

I hope you’ll join us for our sessions—and in the meantime, you can learn more about our efforts to support women at Google and beyond.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 marked the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month and the start of our third year celebrating the Hispanic community through events and community outreach initiatives. Googlers from our Corporate Social Responsibility Team, Diversity & Inclusion Team, Engineering Industry Team, the Hispanic Googler Network (HGN), and our Community Partners worked together to host 20+ events focused on this year’s theme of Latinos in Technology.

We kicked things off at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) National Conference, where two members from our Google Accelerate team worked one-on-one with business owners during matchmaking sessions to consult on the best use of Google tools for their enterprises. Googler Eliana Murillo spoke on a panel titled “Beyond Social Media: The Potential of Technology & the Internet in a Global Economy,” where she shared how tools like Google Analytics, YouTube and Google for Nonprofits can be useful for businesses.

In early October, we ran a Hispanic Heritage Month 2012 Hangout on Air on the Life at Google page with the Latino Community Foundation (LCF). Raquel Donoso (CEO of LCF) and Googlers Hector Mujica (HGN member) and myself shared the history of the partnership and what our respective goals are. They also talked about the Family Health Day at Google & Olympic Games event, which we held at our Mountain View, Calif. headquarters that same week. Health is a pressing issue (PDF) in the Hispanic community; at this event, part of the Binational Health Week, we encouraged guests to have healthier lifestyles by teaching them some easy exercises, how to be active and eat healthy. More than 380+ community members and 50+ Googlers attended.

Last week we wrapped up a series of networking events in partnership with the Society of Hispanic Engineers (SHPE), where more than 400+ technical professionals came to our Seattle, Cambridge, Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin, New York, and Mountain View Offices to network and learn about how Google is supporting the local hispanic technical community.

Finally, today the Hispanic Googler Network is hosting the Bay Area Latino Employee Resource Group (ERG) Networking Reception in Mountain View. The Honorable Aida Alvarez, Chair of the Latino Community Foundation of the Bay Area, will speak to 300+ guests from local Hispanic ERGs in the Bay Area about what LCF is doing to build a better future for Latino children, youth and families in the Hispanic community.

Though the month officially comes to an end today, we’ll continue to support the Hispanic community as a lead sponsor in the LATISM '12 conference, taking place in two weeks. LATISM ‘12 connects Latinos in social media, technology, education, business and health fields to increase their online footprint through the web and Google's tools for small businesses and communities. We’re also participating in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Conference and will soon open up applications for our Hispanic College Fund Google scholarship.

We’ve had a great time celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, and are already looking forward to next year’s events. We invite you to view the recaps, photos and hangouts on our Life at Google page on Google+ and to visit our Diversity & Inclusion site where you can see more of what we do.

A world of opportunity at the G(irls)20 Summit

We’re pleased to have Farah Mohamed join us today to talk about her organization, the G(irls)20 Summit, of which Google is a proud sponsor. The mission of the G(irls)20 Summit is to showcase how girls and women can impact a country’s economic prosperity, political stability and social innovation. - Ed.

Research shows that investing in girls and women can help the global economy. Consider the following examples:
  • According to Plan UK, an extra year of education increases a girl’s income by 10 to 20% and is a significant step on the road to breaking the cycle of poverty.
  • In Kenya, adolescent pregnancies cost the economy $500 million per year, while investing in girls could potentially add $32 billion to the economy (NIKE Foundation, 2009, Girl Effect).
  • If men and women had equal influence in decision-making , an additional 1.7 million children would be adequately nourished in sub-Saharan Africa (International Labour Organization, 2009).
These are significant estimates, and they highlight a real opportunity for global economic growth. That’s why the G(irls)20 Summit is working with Google and many other corporate and foundation partners to empower girls and women.

Launched in 2010 at the Clinton Global Initiative, the G(irls)20 Summit precedes the G20 Leaders Summit, and brings together one girl aged 18 to 20 from each G20 country plus the African Union. The delegates attend workshops and participate in panel discussions to come up with tangible, scalable solutions for how to engage and empower girls and women around the world. Then, at the end of the summit, they lead a press conference and present a set of recommendations for the G20 leaders to consider.

This year, the Summit will take place in Mexico City from May 28-31. But the impact of the Summit will be ongoing, thanks in part to the power of the Internet and social media. Take past Summit participants July Lee of the U.S. and Noma Sibayoni of South Africa, who launched Write With A Smile to encourage teens to continue with their education. Or Riana Shah of India who co-founded Independent Thought & Social Action (ITSA India), an education reform organization that aims to empower socially responsible youth leaders. And the African Union’s Lilian Kithiri continues to persevere creating awareness around reproductive health to communities living in the rural areas of Kenya.

There are a few ways you can experience the Summit:
Whether you’re a girl, boy, woman or man, we all have a role to play in empowering girls and women. As UN Under Secretary-General Michelle Bachelet once said, “gender equality and women’s empowerment are goals in their own right and central to all other goals—must be more than a mantra. It must become a lived reality for women and men and boys and girls in all countries.”

A look inside our 2011 diversity report

We work hard to ensure that our commitment to diversity is built into everything we do—from hiring our employees and building our company culture to running our business and developing our products, tools and services. To recap our diversity efforts in 2011, a year in which we partnered with and donated $19 million to more than 150 organizations working on advancing diversity, we created the 2011 Global Diversity & Talent Inclusion Report. Below are some highlights.

In the U.S., fewer and fewer students are graduating with computer science degrees each year, and enrollment rates are even lower for women and underrepresented groups. It’s important to grow a diverse talent pool and help develop the technologists of tomorrow who will be integral to the success of the technology industry. Here are a few of the things we did last year aimed at this goal in the U.S. and around the world:
We not only promoted diversity and inclusion outside of Google, but within Google as well.
  • We had more than 10,000 members participate in one of our 18 Global Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Membership and reach expanded as Women@Google held the first ever Women’s Summit in both Mountain View, Calif. and Japan; the Black Googler Network (BGN) made their fourth visit to New Orleans, La., contributing 360 volunteer hours in just two days; and the Google Veterans Network partnered with GoogleServe, resulting in 250 Googlers working on nine Veteran-related projects from San Francisco to London.
  • Googlers in more than 50 offices participated in the Sum of Google, a celebration about diversity and inclusion, in their respective offices around the globe.
  • We sponsored 464 events in 70 countries to celebrate the anniversary of International Women's Day. collaborated with Women for Women International to launch the “Join me on the Bridge” campaign. Represented in 20 languages, the campaign invited people to celebrate by joining each other on bridges around the world—either physically or virtually—to show their support.
Since our early days, it’s been important to make our tools and services accessible and useful to a global array of businesses and user communities. Last year:
  • We introduced ChromeVox, a screen reader for Google Chrome, which helps people with vision impairment navigate websites. It's easy to learn and free to install as a Chrome Extension.
  • We grew Accelerate with Google to make Google’s tools, information and services more accessible and useful to underrepresented communities and diverse business partners.
  • On Veterans Day in the U.S., we launched a new platform for military veterans and their families. The Google for Veterans and Families website helps veterans and their families stay connected through products like Google+, YouTube and Google Earth.
We invite you to take a look back with us at our 2011 diversity and inclusion highlights. We’re proud of the work we’ve done so far, but also recognize that there’s much more to do to. These advances may not happen at Internet speed, but through our collective commitment and involvement, we can be a catalyst for change.

Mind the Gap: Encouraging women to study engineering

Women make up more than half the global population, but hold fewer than a third of the world’s engineering jobs. In the U.S., female students comprise fewer than 15 percent of all Advanced Placement computer science test takers. Even in high-tech Israel, few girls choose computer science. Not only is this a loss to companies like Google and everyone who benefits from a continually developing web; it's also a lost opportunity for girls.

Beginning in 2008, a group of female engineers at Google in Israel decided to tackle this problem. We established the “Mind the Gap!” program, aimed at encouraging girls to pursue math, science and technology education. In collaboration with the Israeli National Center for Computer Science Teachers, we began organizing monthly school visits for different groups of girls to the Google office and annual tech conferences at local universities and institutes. The girls learn about computer science and technology and get excited about its applications, as well as have a chance to talk with female engineers in an informal setting and see what the working environment is like for them.

Since we started this program over three years ago, we’ve hosted more than 1,100 teenage girls at our office, and an additional 1,400 girls at three annual conferences held in leading universities. These 2,500 students represent 100 schools from all sectors and from all over the country: Tel Aviv, Haifa, Tira, Beer-Sheva, Jerusalem, Nazareth and more; what they have in common is the potential to become great computer scientists.

The results are encouraging. For instance, some 40 percent of the girls who participated in last year’s conference later chose computer science as a high school major.

We encourage people in other countries, at other companies and in other scientific disciplines to see how they could replicate this program. You can read more at the project site. Currently, we are working with the Google in Education group to expand the program to more offices globally and get even more young women excited about computer science. The difference we can make is real: At one of our first visits three years ago, we met a 10th grade student named Keren who enjoyed math but had never considered computer science as a high school major. Last month, Keren informed us that the visit made such an impact on her, she decided to change her major to computer science. “Talking to women in the field helped me change my mind,” she said.

Generating Genius in the U.K. with young black talent

On July 14, Google U.K. launched a partnership with Generating Genius at an event in our London office. Google director Adrian Joseph, Member of Parliament Simon Hughes and advisor on culture and youth Munira Mirza spoke alongside Generating Genius founder Tony Sewell. They stressed the importance of encouraging students from underrepresented backgrounds to receive higher education degrees and inspiring them to become innovators in the technology industry. Afterward, two program participants shared their Generating Genius experiences and their plans for university this fall.

Joining forces with Generating Genius is part of our ongoing commitment to provide exceptionally talented young black students from London’s inner city schools with the key computing and technology skills needed to apply for the very best computer science degrees. We believe it’s crucial to get students engaged in computer science early and enable them to become creators—not just consumers—of technology.

Students accepted into the Generating Genius program are guided via mentors through engineering summer schools and weekend programs for a full five years (from 13 to 18 years of age). Early results of the program have been fantastic: all of the first participants to graduate from the program have received offers to attend elite universities this autumn. Ninety-five percent of them are the first in their families to go on to higher education. Google's funding is enabling Generating Genius to include girls this year for the first time, as well as helping to expand upon the computer science component of the program.

Director of Generating Genius Tony Sewell (center) and two students who have completed five years in the program and are now headed to elite universities to study computer science and physics.

This partnership follows on the heels of the Top Black Talent Program that we kicked off in April, which recruits talented computer science students from African Caribbean Society chapters at U.K. universities for a mentoring program at Google. Paired with a Google mentor, the students attended a series of talks and workshops, including career-focused sessions with resume and interviewing advice and technical discussions that provided real-life insights into the tech industry.

You can hear more from Googlers, executives, scholars and partners about our programs and initiatives for minority students by watching our You Tube video. For further details on the Top Black Talent program or to register for the next cohort of Top Black Talent students, please get in touch. And for more on our general education outreach, visit