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HR Chief: Google Sexual, Racial Diversity "Not Where We Want to Be"

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the what-factors-go-into-it dept.

Google 593

theodp (442580) writes "In 2007, Congress asked Google, "How many [Google employees] are African-American?" "I don't actually have that data at my fingertips," replied Google HR Chief Laszlo Bock. Seven years later, Google finally disclosed diversity data for the first time ever, revealing that 17% of its tech workforce is female, and only 1% is Black. "Put simply," wrote Google's Bock, "Google is not where we want to be when it comes to diversity." To put things in perspective, it looks like the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers — commemorated in last year's Google Doodle of Jackie Robinson — put up better Black diversity numbers than Google was able to muster 67 years later. Things could have been worse, but the EEOC doesn't ask for and Google chose not to disclose anything about the age makeup of its workforce, aside from a mention of the existence of Greyglers, a group "for Googlers 'of a certain age.'""

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Who gives a shit? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136195)

What happened to hiring the best person for the job?

The whole "there aren't enough females in the tech industry" seems like a manufactured issue to me. What exactly is the problem? How is it a problem? Etc.

Re:Who gives a shit? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136239)

Well, it turns out when it comes to determining the best person for the job, there's a lot of bias, some of it intentional, some of it accidental, and so there's a recognition that it's not an objective determination, but a flawed one.

Now we can pretend that we are blind to race, gender, creed, or whatever, but that's more likely self-delusion than honesty.

Re:Who gives a shit? (5, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 3 months ago | (#47136425)

Now we can pretend that we are blind to race, gender, creed, or whatever, but that's more likely self-delusion than honesty.

"Not a good culture fit" is the Jim Crow of the 21st century, and you don't have to have dark skin for it to apply these days.

Re:Who gives a shit? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136449)

Oh, that's just common classicism. (But don't tell the Catholics, they still think they're not discriminated against.)

Re:Who gives a shit? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136543)

It's just the Irish Catholics because they are drunks.

Re:Who gives a shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136619)

I don't know people still seem to love the Kennedys... For what reason I don't know...

Re:Who gives a shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136447)

If "we" had had the best personnel for this "job", then this "shit" would have never happened in the first place.. later

Re:Who gives a shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136525)

Diversity means you can have too many white males and asian males, but it never means you can have too much of any other group.

Re:Who gives a shit? (4, Insightful)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 3 months ago | (#47136533)

Nah man. This is BS. If you compare the amount of females in the IT pool to begin with its hardly surprising to find a similar ratio in the actually hired staff of any company.

Re:Who gives a shit? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136253)

> What happened to hiring the best person for the job?

One of the qualifications for the job is perspective. Google's own stats show that more diverse teams perform at higher levels.

"What we have seen internally is teams that are diverse, not just in skin color and gender, but in terms of sexual orientation, in any kind of way you want to look at it, in terms of belief system, they come up with better ideas. They do more interesting things.

There’s interesting research out of MIT that actually looked at the relationship between productivity of teams that are homogeneous and ones where you mix in women. And what they found was that, as you increase the proportion of diversity, teams get more and more and more productive."

--- http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/googles-diversity-record-shows-women-minorities-left-behind/

Re:Who gives a shit? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136311)

more diverse teams perform at higher levels

Maybe at Google.
My anecdotal evidence at the university shows that teams of white people did better.
Of course this was mostly because all the white people came from a similar culture and actually understood each other, whereas all the other teams were just the people who couldn't get a team and were thrown into a group.

Re:Who gives a shit? (5, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 3 months ago | (#47136259)

It doesn't matter if they're male or female, it only matters if they have an H1B visa.

Re:Who gives a shit? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136281)

This.
How about they put up some numbers on how many "African American" applicants there are compared to how many non African American applicants.
Maybe do the same thing for their qualifications. If it turns out 90% of the applicants are african american maybe there is a problem.
BTW, how many african employees does Google have? Maybe they have 30%, so it wouldn't be a race issue, just an american issue.
My school probably has less than 1% Suriname students. Still if you take into account that Surinamese make up a tiny fraction of the applicants, it makes sense.

Re:Who gives a shit? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136465)

You're right, looking at the applications would be useful information. Ever seen a job posting that was put in a certain area, so that certain people could see it, but others wouldn't be expected to find out about it?

It's almost like you've read Kennedy's original executive order.

Re:Who gives a shit? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136595)

Americans: Are your African-Americans really born in Africa? Because, otherwise they're just Americans.

Re:Who gives a shit? (1, Insightful)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 3 months ago | (#47136293)

I work in the tech industry, at one of the largest companies IN the tech industry. We need more people with decent social skills. We need diversity. We need a lot less angry testosterone driven assholes.

Bias exists.

There's a problem. Someone is trying to fix that problem and make the world a better place. To paraphrase the kids these days, "Why haters gotta hate?" Why are you questioning Google trying to do some good?

Re:Who gives a shit? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136395)

Are you saying that all White males are assholes without decent social skills? That sounds racist.

Re:Who gives a shit? (3, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 3 months ago | (#47136453)

Are you saying that all White males are assholes without decent social skills? That sounds racist.

Not really - he's also applying it to East and South Asian males.

Re:Who gives a shit? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136579)

He's saying that angry testosterone driven assholes get away with it because of their racial privilege. There is a reason "angry black man" is a stereotype but "angry white man" is not.

white males should (4, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 3 months ago | (#47136361)

When Google says "Not Where We Want to Be" , what they are saying is that it is time to start discriminating against white males and hire other less qualified candidates because some groups are getting uppidy. We never hear similar claims of needing "more diversity" from the NBA or the National Felons League, but when we find an area where white males excel by working hard, it is time to put a stop to it.

Re:white males should (1, Interesting)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 3 months ago | (#47136415)

When Google says "Not Where We Want to Be" , what they are saying is that it is time to start discriminating against white males

I will never understand how some peoples brains hear "Must discriminate against white people!" whenever someone says "Must not discriminate against black people".

Seriously, this white separatist thinking eally needs to die.

Re:white males should (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136527)

It's called the loss of unearned privilege. They grew up with the status quo and have never critically examined it, so they think that not only is it normal it is morally right - they end up conflating their privilege with moral correctness.

Its kind of like super-religious people losing their shit over having their religion's iconography removed from government buildings. We're going to see some serious cognitive dissonance when those satanists try to get their statue put up in oklahoma. [theverge.com]

Re:white males should (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136531)

When Google says "Not Where We Want to Be" , what they are saying is that it is time to start discriminating against white males

I will never understand how some peoples brains hear "Must discriminate against white people!" whenever someone says "Must not discriminate against black people".

Seriously, this white separatist thinking eally needs to die.

No, it's about hiring the employee with the most qualifications and highest test scores. It shouldn't even be a factor how many of what there is employed at your company. I think we should just ban face to face interviews and then colour won't be an issue, or maybe everyone can wear masks.

Re:Who gives a shit? (5, Funny)

jez9999 (618189) | about 3 months ago | (#47136383)

What happened to hiring the best person for the job?

I totally agree. Companies should always want the best man for the job, regardless of gender.

Re:Who gives a shit? (2)

ganjadude (952775) | about 3 months ago | (#47136391)

Seriously can we please stop manufacturing issues that are non issues? The best person/robot should be given the job. be it white black asian purple or bender

People wanted equality, as such we need to treat everyone equal and stop trying to fit quotas based on the features...that the people dont want to be treated differently for!

Re:Who gives a shit? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136463)

Who's working on the problem of not enough men in HR?

Re:Who gives a shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136563)

What happened to hiring the best person for the job?

The whole "there aren't enough females in the tech industry" seems like a manufactured issue to me. What exactly is the problem? How is it a problem? Etc.

While I can see your point here, unfortunately, I think the larger glaring number is the percentage of African Americans employed, which would include both male and female workers.

That said, I don't feel any employer should be forced into hiring anyone just to make numbers, and while there's a chance that the hiring practices have been fair, 1% seems surprisingly low, regardless of whatever stereotype you want to believe.

Re:Who gives a shit? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136567)

It's a problem, but it's not necessarily Google's problem, nor necessarily their fault. Basically, society has given women and minorities the impressions they should not have these kinds of jobs, and oppressed their education and life experiences such that they never come into a position to have the opportunity to have these kinds of jobs. So Google and other tech companies look at the field of candidates, and they *see* 17% women and 1% black in the hiring pool, so as a large company if they do "just hire the best people" they're going to end up with that as their demographic.

There are some different schools of thought about "fixing" these problems. One of which is by trying to institute hiring quotas. In the short term, this is bad for the company, because it means they are going out of their way to *not* hire the best person for the job, and instead hiring the best woman or best black person or best hispanic person. That person might be great, and they might even be the best, but statistically speaking, they are just less likely to be the best due to the demographics of the hiring pool. The idea is that because you have a more diverse work pool, the next generation will see that it's ok for people "like them" to have that kind of job, and be more likely to aspire for that type of job, or that the kids of these people will be in a position of privilege and power instead of disadvantage and disempowerment, and will be able to get whatever kind of job they want in their future, instead of being limited by their parent's income and social position.

The problem with this idea is that if your competitor doesn't have a quota system, and they *do* just hire whoever is best, then statistically speaking they are likely to be hiring slightly better people than you and out innovate and out compete you.

The other primary effort being made to address these issues is at lower levels of education, going to primarily minority schools and introducing them to STEM courses early on and trying to get them interested in math, science, engineering, and computer programming. This method also has questionable efficacy, because it doesn't solve any cultural proclivities they may have grown up with, nor does it solve their parents' lack of wealth and privilege. They might love math and science, but not be able to get into a good college due to lack of money and connections, or may have their interests discouraged directly or indirectly by their parents, peers, or society in general.

Re:Who gives a shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136591)

the word 'culture' hits it right on the nose.
Success seems to be affected highly by your networking ability and stereotype.
Nowadays with all the devices and whatnot... its hard to make friends in general actually. I haven't made a new guy friend in longer than i am comfortable in admitting.
Navigating the corporate culture is WAAAY easier when the people you interact with are part of your native culture group.
Because they will be drinking beers with you.. and giving you that edge.
You could be mistake prone and semi unproductive.. and they will still weed out someone else not in the ruling groups clique.
Venture capitalist give money to good ideas yes... but if you cant have a beer with them they will not sign.
You could be an average engineer but the group silently votes you not a hire because they couldn't imagine going to the hockey game with you.
People love their Zack Morrises for thier Zack Morris roles... Thier insert indian stereotype here for Indian Roles.

That's not to say one couldn't sidestep the system altogether and build your own software and your own company.
But in terms of the corporation whose operating in the USA and whose middle class jobs are protected by the United States Government who serves to serve all its people equally. If there is a discrepancy served it is their duty to analyze and possibly correct it on behalf of the people it serves?
No?
I'm Latino American.. i run my own software business.. yes it makes money... if a dude comes into my office whistling EPMD strictly business and hes just a decent coder.. HES HIRED! If the dude comes in their bobbing his head to Onyx Slam.. have a nice day sir enjoy your search. ;)

This is what these laws and disclosures are intended to protect against.

Re:Who gives a shit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136627)

There should be a suspicion of not hiring the best person if the gender, race or other bias deviates from the bias in the education system producing the workforce. Bias in the education system is then a problem for somebody else to solve.

Asians != Diverse (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136211)

Gotta love when 30% of the non-white asians don't count whatsoever into the diversity formula for these nitwits. Does anyone know what the correct mix should be btw?

Re:Asians != Diverse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136375)

The correct mix can only be achieved once every last White person is killed. Diversity is a code word for White Genocide.

Re:Asians != Diverse (3, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 3 months ago | (#47136421)

Diversity is affirmative action. It has no inherent value. We are trained to mouth words that it does because affirmative action has had trouble in courts in recent decades. So everyone goes through the motions that it is of vital importance.

Re:Asians != Diverse (4, Funny)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | about 3 months ago | (#47136593)

I remember seeing an article in the Mercury News with a headline to the effect of "whites still far outnumber blacks at Cal." It included a pie of the different races, roughly half of which were Asian.

What quota (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136213)

We’re not where we want to be when it comes to diversity. And it is hard to address these kinds of challenges if you’re not prepared to discuss them openly, and with the facts.

All of our efforts, including going public with these numbers, are designed to help us recruit and develop the world’s most talented and diverse people.

So.. where does Google really want to be? Do they have a defined quota? How soon will such affirmative action be used against them by white males and asian males?

Equal Rights Equal Results (5, Insightful)

kiloechonovember (1704288) | about 3 months ago | (#47136215)

I'd go into a long tirade on the subject so I'll sum it up that you either understand the argument or you're just wanting a Utopia at the cost of someone else who is the right choice for that company.

Re:Equal Rights Equal Results (3, Insightful)

whistlingtony (691548) | about 3 months ago | (#47136487)

I'm a boss. There are lots of right people. The right person is someone who can get along with all the OTHER people. Aptitude is not as important as attitude. Yours is kind of selfish and cynical. I'd hire a woman over you. She's more likely to be a team player. It's a stereotype, but....

I don't think I can stress this enough. For the vast majority of positions, there are plenty of people who can do the job I need them to do. There are no rock stars needed. We have rock stars. They cause problems and unneeded stress. I need bright motivated people who get along well. One asshole ruins motivation for everyone.

That's why we need diversity. That's why we need people with emotional intelligence. Then there's the whole "diversity of experiences helps come up with clever solutions to the problems we are trying to overcome." thing, which is really really important.

Silicon Valley is such a strange place (1)

mtrachtenberg (67780) | about 3 months ago | (#47136217)

It's not just Google,now, is it? Silicon Valley is a strange place, as is much of the programming "computer science" community. It's as uniform as the top of the financial industry. There's this pretense that it's one big meritocracy and, as with all lies, there's a kernel of truth to that. Smart people come up with a new idea and are able to bring in other smart people to implement it. That's the end of the meritocracy story. Then comes the larger part of the cycle. Not-very-smart people -- but people who have a lot of unjustified self-confidence and excellent salesmens' smiles -- are brought in to run things and market the "dog food" and do "strategic planning." For a few years -- it used to be a decade but it's probably a shorter time frame now -- their association with the great name their company built when it was young hides the fact that, mostly, these newcomers are spectacularly incompetent. Then, the company, founded by smart people but running on reputation, eventually disappears.

Re:Silicon Valley is such a strange place (5, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | about 3 months ago | (#47136405)

It's true, but it's also just part of the way the world works. It's not just Silicon Valley. The big difference there is that Smart People have far more of a chance of first succeeding because software is "hard", and requires smart people in the first place to do anything useful.

1. By definition, most of the population is not-so-smart. (Please note, this does NOT mean smart people are better than everyone else, just smarter)

2. It takes smart people, and often times a particular kind of smart person to distinguish the smart people from the not-so-smart, but overly confident people.

3. People are heavily biased towards confident people. Confidence everyone can recognize. (as evidenced by the rise of Sara Palin, who has no business being confident, but yet was/is beloved by a certain segment of the populace).

4. There's an inverse relationship between skill and confidence. The more skillful people become, the less confident they are. (Primarly because they realize how much they really don't know).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D... [wikipedia.org]

So given the above, it's a natural tendency as a company grows that it'll start to get filled with people who aren't quite as smart as the founders. It's really inevitable at a certain point of growth because you'll just need more people, and a larger percentage of them will be not-so-smart. They'll start promoting the confident, but less skilled people because of point 2 and 3. This will create a feedback loop (less smart promotes even less smart people), and eventually the company is filled with morons who coast on the success of others. (i.e. Microsoft).

Re:Silicon Valley is such a strange place (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 3 months ago | (#47136501)

People are heavily biased towards confident people ... There's an inverse relationship between skill and confidence.

I try to take that into account. A certain level of confidence is good, but beyond that it's a red flag. If you're certain that your new idea will work, then I'm certain that you're an asshole.

Legitimized racism (5, Insightful)

Ostrich25 (544788) | about 3 months ago | (#47136223)

The very question is racist. Why does it matter how many of a certain color there are? If I get hired for a job, I want it to be because I was the right fit for the job, not because my skin was the appropriate color to meet some quota.

Re:Legitimized racism (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136411)

Race is just a social construct. Race doesn't exist. That's why we need affirmative action. To destroy the White race. Diversity is our Strength!

Race doesn't matter... (5, Insightful)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 months ago | (#47136227)

...culture does.

If the wrong skin colors are coming into Google, look towards the *cultures* of the people who don't make it, rather than the skin color. Backwards urban cultures (where sadly most self-identified blacks and latinos live), are anti-intellectual and actively discourage those who try to make it out through education by shaming them as not being "real".

So, the question is, should Google be in charge of destroying thug gansgsta culture, and forcing urban youth to speak proper english, work hard in school, treat women with respect, and avoid violent destructive behavior?

As for men/women, they've got different brains, so you'll get different outcomes. There is no shame in being a man with less empathy than a woman, and no shame in being a woman with more empathy than a man.

Re:Race doesn't matter... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136267)

There is no shame in being a man with less empathy than a woman, and no shame in being a woman with more empathy than a man.

Being a man with more empathy than a woman is shameful though.

Yeah i'm talking to you faux hawk toting, crying during movie metro douches.

Re:Race doesn't matter... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136275)

Everything you said applies to rural white culture as well. Why didn't you mention that?

Re:Race doesn't matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136315)

What rural white people?! We're educated we speak clearly and concisely

Fuck you city snob piece of shit.

Re:Race doesn't matter... (4, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 3 months ago | (#47136541)

We're educated we speak clearly and concisely

We're educated [and|so|hence|<semi-colon>] we speak clearly and concisely[.]

Re:Race doesn't matter... (1)

maliqua (1316471) | about 3 months ago | (#47136347)

jeez and people think us rural folk are the bigots

Re:Race doesn't matter... (0)

Entropius (188861) | about 3 months ago | (#47136373)

Because it's still okay for urbanites to make jokes about "those dumb West Virginians fucking their cousins" and refer to places like Missouri as "flyover country".

Re:Race doesn't matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136513)

You mean urbanites like ex-VP Dick Cheney [nytimes.com] ?

In a rumination about his family tree, he said that his wife, Lynne, had discovered that there were people named “Cheney” in both his maternal and paternal lines.

“So we had Cheneys on both sides of the family — and we don’t even live in West Virginia,” he said.

Re:Race doesn't matter... (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 3 months ago | (#47136555)

"those dumb West Virginians fucking their cousins"

Nah, WV was a Union state. We only say that about Traitorous states.

Re:Race doesn't matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136547)

I'm (very) rural, white, and have two PhDs (chemical engineering and organic chemistry). Try again.

racism matters (0, Flamebait)

globaljustin (574257) | about 3 months ago | (#47136427)

Backwards urban cultures (where sadly most self-identified blacks and latinos live), are anti-intellectual and actively discourage those who try to make it out through education by shaming them as not being "real".

this one of the stupidest things I've ever read on slashdot

everything about this statement is bigoted nonsense

by this logic, white people are the craziest most fsked up "culture" in history...look at the 20th century;s worst...all white men

but this logic is wrong...every statement is a falsehood...

it's people who think like hsthompson who are the enemy here

Re:racism matters (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136489)

the best way to call out a bigot is to then slur white people, because we all know racial slurs to white people don't count as racism

.look at the 20th century;s worst...all white men

If your focus is on north america sure. I'm willing to bet a few of the many war lords in various African countries attempting genocide would have made the list

Re:racism matters (5, Insightful)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | about 3 months ago | (#47136549)

I grew up in an anti-intellectual culture, and was persecuted for "trying to be white" when I focused on academics, proper english, and polite behavior.

I made it out. Many others I knew didn't.

If you can't understand how "urban" culture, with their thugs, gangstas, misogyny, violence and victimhood mentality, cause massive problems for those stuck in it, either you've never been there, or you're part of the problem.

Re:racism matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136599)

I think the point he was trying to make is simply that behavior isn't LIMITED to to people in that environment. and not EVERY area that could fall into this category will have the same values.

Your frustration is understandable but I believe the point of the comment was not to make light of the struggle you and others like you may have had but rather to point out that the struggle you had isn't only unique to your environment

Re:racism matters (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136629)

Hmm, perhaps I am part of the "problem". So tell me, hsthompson69, do you have a final solution to the problem. Please be as specific as you can.

Re:Race doesn't matter... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136565)

I see that you are looking at this very deeply ( no sarcasm intended )
the word 'culture' hits it right on the nose.
Success seems to be affected highly by your networking ability and stereotype.
Nowadays with all the devices and whatnot... its hard to make friends in general actually. I haven't made a new guy friend in longer than i am comfortable in admitting.
Navigating the corporate culture is WAAAY easier when the people you interact with are part of your native culture group.
Because they will be drinking beers with you.. and giving you that edge.
You could be mistake prone and semi unproductive.. and they will still weed out someone else not in the ruling groups clique.
Venture capitalist give money to good ideas yes... but if you cant have a beer with them they will not sign.
You could be an average engineer but the group silently votes you not a hire because they couldn't imagine going to the hockey game with you.
People love their Zack Morrises for thier Zack Morris roles... Thier insert indian stereotype here for Indian Roles.

That's not to say one couldn't sidestep the system altogether and build your own software and your own company.
But in terms of the corporation whose operating in the USA and whose middle class jobs are protected by the United States Government who serves to serve all its people equally. If there is a discrepancy served it is their duty to analyze and possibly correct it on behalf of the people it serves?
No?
I'm Latino American.. i run my own software business.. yes it makes money... if a dude comes into my office whistling EPMD strictly business and hes just a decent coder.. HES HIRED! If the dude comes in their bobbing his head to Onyx Slam.. have a nice day sir enjoy your search. ;)

This is what these laws and disclosures are intended to protect against.

Re:Race doesn't matter... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 3 months ago | (#47136625)

So, the question is, should Google be in charge of destroying thug gansgsta culture, and forcing urban youth to speak proper english, work hard in school, treat women with respect, and avoid violent destructive behavior?

Aren't they? Google's reaction to misspellings is priceless... and it is the gateway to mankind's assembled knowledge.

Re:Race doesn't matter... (5, Informative)

bondsbw (888959) | about 3 months ago | (#47136633)

Data seems to back this up. According to a Computing Research Association study in 2010 [cnn.com] , only 13.4% of CS graduates from American universities (that have Ph.D. programs) were female, and only 4.2% were African American. You also have to factor in the demographics of the Mountain View area, where as of 2010 only 2.2% of the population is African American [wikipedia.org] .

If You're Gonna Bring Up Sports (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136237)

80% of NBA players are black, 70% of NFL players are black. Is anyone asking them for more "diversity"? Yeah I thought not.

And 100% of the top sports leagues are male. Where's the outrage over this lack of sexual diversity?

Re:If You're Gonna Bring Up Sports (1)

callahan2211 (1963904) | about 3 months ago | (#47136287)

My thoughts exactly. Hire the best American for the job, period. Is it any coincidence that this diversity talk just happens to be centered around an industry that wants more H1-B visas?

Re:If You're Gonna Bring Up Sports (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136389)

> 80% of NBA players are black, 70% of NFL players are black. Is anyone asking them for more "diversity"? Yeah I thought not.

That's because blacks are so overwhelmingly poor and socially restrained that the pro-sports lottery is the only non-criminal opportunity open to most of them. You take 10+% of the population and give them all just one way to improve their lot in life and you'll see them dominate it. Everybody else with options will exercise their options so they don't have to compete with 10% of the population.

It is similar to the reason occupations like nursing are majority women, but doctors are still majority male. Women aren't naturally more 'nursey' they just aren't as welcome in the system that produces doctors.

Re:If You're Gonna Bring Up Sports (2, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | about 3 months ago | (#47136583)

>80% of NBA players are black, 70% of NFL players are black. Is anyone asking them for more "diversity"? Yeah I thought not.

Maybe it's because there's around 500 NBA players, and around 1700 NFL players. For comparison, Google has 50,000 employees.

So if you're concerned about people having equal access to high paying jobs, who are you going to go after, the NBA or NFL, with a combined 2000 jobs, or Google, with 50,000?

It's not about "fairness" in each industry or "diversity" (that's really just marketing in our current culture), it's about different groups of people having access to well paying jobs.

Now, I'll be the first to tell you I don't think Google is racist, and there's MANY different reasons for the racial disparity. But trying to paint this as a numbers game where each industry has to have balance is really missing the point here. I'm actually totally against things like affirmative action. I don't think you can solve racial inequality through a socially acceptable form of racism.

Washington Post Comment (5, Informative)

Guppy (12314) | about 3 months ago | (#47136245)

From the Washington Post's Blog section: Eugene Volokh, On google's employee demographics [washingtonpost.com]

... non-Hispanic whites are 61 percent of the Google work force, slightly below the national average. (That average, according to 2006-10 numbers, is 67 percent.) Google is thus less white than the typical American company. White men are probably slightly over-represented; assuming that the 30 percent number it gives for women Google employees worldwide carries over to the U.S. (the article gives no separate number for U.S. women Google employees), white men are 42 percent of the Google work force, and 35 percent of the U.S. work force — not a vast disparity.
Indeed, if the goal is “reflecting the demographics of the country” as to race... ...Google can only accomplish that by firing well over three-quarters of its Asian employees, and replacing them with blacks and Hispanics (and a few whites, to bring white numbers up from 61 percent to 67 percent).

They have to take what they can get. (5, Interesting)

mmell (832646) | about 3 months ago | (#47136251)

I'd like to see figures regarding the available labor pool. Google's workforce is 17% female. What percentage of job applicants at Google were female? Google's workforce is 1% black. What percentage of applicants were black?

Also - what percentage of Google's workforce are of Indian descent? What percentage of applicants have been Indian? Here in the US, people of Indian descent would certainly be considered members of an ethnic minority, a large number them (even a disproportionate number, perhaps?) being professionals in the IT field. I suspect that Google's workforce is representative of the qualified candidate pool from which they can hire.

Re:They have to take what they can get. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 3 months ago | (#47136357)

What percentage of applicants have been Indian?

With or without H-1B's?

Re:They have to take what they can get. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 3 months ago | (#47136381)

That's a separate (if related) issue - but let's omit H-1B from the discussion for now.

Re:They have to take what they can get. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136369)

Presumably, when you mention "Indians" you talking about Indians who can trace their ancestry back to India? In that case, they would be included in the Asian group since India is located in South Asia.

Re:They have to take what they can get. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136457)

> They have to take what they can get.

That's why part of their efforts need to be focused on fixing that.

"And this is why it’s important for companies like Google to be at the forefront of change, and encouraging women to join them, and then making it women-friendly, making it — and also another important thing, that, in Palo Alto, we have — in the center of Silicon Valley, you have Palo Alto High School, but then you have East Palo Alto High School, where you have African-American and Latino kids.

Those children want to be part of the ecosystem over here. What Google and other tech companies need to do is to start recruiting there, start going and teaching classes there, bringing them into the fold, giving them internships, and making them part of the system.

That could cause dramatic change within five years if they started focusing on it today."

-- http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/googles-diversity-record-shows-women-minorities-left-behind/ [pbs.org]

Time for full disclosures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136255)

Interesting. How does Google's diversity data compare with other tech companies, particularly ones that offer products and services that tout utilizing open source software as benefit? Are they any better that tech companies that mostly deal in proprietary goods and services?

going insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136269)

Please, just one day free of google. Please. They're in my browser, phone
, email and the internet is increasingly just an extension of google, they're constantly in the news...please, make them just go away...kim kardashian of the IT world.

sexism, racism, Rooney Rule, Pittsburg Steelers (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 3 months ago | (#47136307)

Google has sexist/racist hiring policies....that's the cause of this TFA

now...I'm not supporting the notion of "quotas" or forcing Google to hire unqualified workers...I"M AGAINST THAT

I favor **affirmative action**

Affirmative action in the context of a large corporation means *acknowledging society's inherent inequality* and taking steps to offer ****equal opportunity****

how does a company like Google take "affirmative action"?

let's take the Pittsburgh Steeler's super bowl winning head coach Mike Tomlin's hiring process [wikipedia.org]

which was so successful that it lead to the Rooney Rule: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R... [wikipedia.org]

The Rooney Rule requires National Football League teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. It is sometimes cited as an example of affirmative action, though there is no quota or preference given to minorities in the hiring of candidates.[1][2] It was established in 2003.[3]

NO QUOTAS...NO FORCED HIRING

all the rule does is require the company to let minority applicants get their foot in the door

without affirmative action, Tomlin would have never got his interview...they did it b/c they wanted to be fair...they got a super bowl out of it

**THIS IS THE SOLUTION TO SILICON VALLEY'S SEXISM/RACISM PROBLEM**

it's not a panacea, but it works...it gives people who are *qualified* a chance

Because more legislation is always the answer. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 3 months ago | (#47136409)

How about we see if there's really a problem here before we fix it with a jackhammer?

still not sure racism is a problem??? (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 3 months ago | (#47136471)

The Rooney Rule is not a fsking "jackhammer"

it's an *interview*

that's all...no "jackhammer"

if Google did it *voluntarily* there would be no need for legislation, would there?

let me punch you in the nose...the ask you if your broken nose is a "problem"

Re:sexism, racism, Rooney Rule, Pittsburg Steelers (1)

Xenx (2211586) | about 3 months ago | (#47136587)

The Rooney Rule had nothing directly to do with the hiring of Tomlin. They had already met the requirements of the rule and could of hired anyone. Being that the rule started with Rooney and the Steelers, it would only make sense that race is less likely to play into their choices. They chose to interview, and subsequently hire, Tomlin because they wanted to.

Reading between the lines... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136317)

Congress to Google: Why aren't there Democratic voters in your workforce?
Google: June is pride month we celebrate that!
Congress: Not good enough, with more Democratic employees your company will be much more likely to cooperate in the future.
Google: We'll hire the most qualified workers for the job and you can just /dealwithit.
Congress: Stamping a ballot and bribery are the only two qualifications we care about, so get to work on that diversity.

Re:Reading between the lines... (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 3 months ago | (#47136401)

Congress to Google: Why aren't there Democratic voters in your workforce?

You do realize that Republicans control the House, right? Or does that not count because of the perpetual victimhood of the right wing?

Finally they will land a job at Google (1)

Greg666NYC (3665779) | about 3 months ago | (#47136323)

I have to tell my friends to apply for jobs at Google. Yes, expect to be hit hard with the lawsuits if you choose "white cracker" over for the job. It's time to milk Google

Google Duh-dles (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 3 months ago | (#47136329)

Based on Google Doodles, most human technological advancement is already women and minorities-driven. Google's actual numbers are thus doubly perplexing -- why do they continue to hire almost exclusively white male engineers which Doodles clearly suggest are inferior.

Oh, of course! They are practicing affirmative action to redress past wrongs against white male engineers. Duh, n/m.

Greyglers? and I'm the Queen of England (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 3 months ago | (#47136333)

the EEOC doesn't ask for and Google chose not to disclose anything about the age makeup of its workforce

Of course not - you didn't think they were actually serious about age discrimination, did you? Besides, everyone under 35 knows that everyone over 35 is not just obsolete, but senile. Except for top management of course ... no, them too, but it's acceptable if you're one of the anointed class.

Not Google's fault... (4, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | about 3 months ago | (#47136335)

It isn't Google's job to feel guilty for the lack of qualified black tech workers. Universities these days are falling down over themselves trying to be inclusive, promote diversity, etc.; promising black students in technical fields are highly sought after... yet there are almost none of them. I'm in computational physics, not in computer engineering, so it's a slightly different field. However, the university I'm at now is extremely diversity-promoting -- and located in a city that is ~50% black... and there is one black physicist there. She's not African-American, either; she's Ethiopian (and competent as all hell, and headed for industry). At my previous university, there were folks from all around the world: a few Afrikaaners, Dutch, Russians, Germans, Brazilians, French, Chinese, Indians, Native Americans, Koreans, Mexicans, and so on... and no black folks at all. At the physics and astronomy conferences I go to, there are almost no black people. Yes, this is physics, not tech engineering, but I imagine the situation is about the same there.

For whatever reason, blacks (and especially African-Americans) are underrepresented in the tech sector. This is definitely worth some concern: it could be for innocent reasons, it could be for ones that need to be addressed (having to do with substandard schools in black areas, for instance), but whatever it is it's not Google's problem. By all means, let's make sure tech classes in black schools are up to standard, but it's not Google's job to worry about this.

Forcing Google at Al Sharpton-point to seek out and hire black folks, regardless of whether they are able to do their jobs well or not, is only going to make things worse, as people will ask "Is that guy over there able to do his job, or is he a quota hire?"

Re:Not Google's fault... (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 3 months ago | (#47136615)

What?
Ethiopia is in Africa... Or do you mean that she does not have citizenship here so she is just African/Ethiopia?

Equally Important Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136337)

What percentage of Google's employees are Indian or Chinese? I'm guessing it's higher than the national average. But they aren't "special" important minorities so they presumably don't count.

Re:Equally Important Question (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136393)

What percentage of Google's employees are Indian or Chinese? I'm guessing it's higher than the national average. But they aren't "special" important minorities so they presumably don't count.

No because they can count!

Re:Equally Important Question (5, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | about 3 months ago | (#47136431)

In America "racial minority" means "black or Hispanic".

There's a deficit of Chinese people in football and Jews in growing soybeans but nobody really worries about that.

You've got it all backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136351)

Giving benefits or higher chance of being hired just because you're female or non-white is nothing less than discrimination against males - sexism - and discrimination against whites - racism. Realize that these problems swing both ways, and you're not helping to rid society of them by focusing on genders and races, you stupid shits.

Diverse != Productive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136353)

I'm sorry to say it, but "diversity" is a mill stone around the neck of American companies. We have to hire idiots who can not read or write to satisfy the requirements of race-bating lawyers.

Give companies in one state the ability to ignore race and gender; to hire the most qualified candidate...and that state will boom.

Of course, that will never happen.

If You are white, know this...half of Your salary goes to subsidize the idiots of other races. It's not because they are genetically idiots, but because they competed up to the level they needed to, which was a very low level given affirmative action and such.

Re:Diverse != Productive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136469)

Shut up you racist bigot.

More diversity always leads to greater economic growth and productivity. That's the only thing that is going to fix this economy, is if we stop the white patriarchy from controlling our destinies. We need to make all executive boards at all companies more diverse. More women, and more people of color. No more white males. White males are obsolete.

You fucking shitlord.

Re:Diverse != Productive (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 3 months ago | (#47136623)

We have to hire idiots who can not read or write to satisfy the requirements of race-bating lawyers.

Similar problems occurred during the World Wars. In the first, employers had to hire black idiots. It got worse in the second one, where they also had to hire woman idiots. On the bright side, we won both wars, in spite of the idiots working for the Arsenal of Democracy.

I'm all for hiring the best person for the job, but if you think prejudice is always explicit, or that people are even always aware of their prejudices, then you're in la-la land. I honestly don't know about women and black people in SV, but there are all sorts of ways to inject prejudice. "Not a good culture fit" (meaning over 35) is one of them. I also wouldn't be surprised if there is a bias in favor of South and East Asians, because everybody these days is inundated with the idea that they're all so smart. Remember, it isn't a stereotype if it's a positive stereotype.

Awww yeah (0)

Niris (1443675) | about 3 months ago | (#47136377)

I'm a half hispanic Android developer in Boulder and I applied like two days ago for shits and giggles. Maybe this'll work out in my favor, albeit not necessarily for the best reasons, but I'll take whatever advantages I can get :P To be fair, I don't think they do Android development out here.

Hire a consultant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136407)

I suggest Donald Sterling.

Bantu stone-chippers don't serve GOOGLE (1)

noshellswill (598066) | about 3 months ago | (#47136433)

Bantu mean IQ = 80 and the distribution exhibits no **long tail** of exceptional smarts.  Those are stone-chipper numbers from the Neolith. Janeette-da-krak-hoe and Action Jackson are just plain stupid and have nothing  technical to contribute.  How many of such a  dis-functional population would you EXPECT to appear in a maths/logic heavy IT industry??   GOOGLE has been lucky to avoid them. Chances are only affirmative action keeps the employment number above 0.0001%! SGI hired a few  Bantu in-the-day and they were lead anchors not sails! 

You can only hire what's on the market (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#47136435)

My team here consists only of white males. Why? Because only white males applied for the jobs.

If a black, gay, transsexual Jewish woman applies AND displays the necessary skill set, I'll hire her. But certainly not just because she's a black, gay, transsexual Jewish woman.

How about.. (2)

nurb432 (527695) | about 3 months ago | (#47136459)

We just look for qualified people? Who really cares what color/sex/orientation they are?

If you end up 'diverse', great, but if not, who cares? ( other than busybodies that operate off entitlements and the government )

Article is totally misguided. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136479)

As a computer engineering student, after five years of the program I've had exactly three black classmates. All three described being ridiculed and physically beaten by their black peers for being 'nerdy' and being into science and math. All three had friends with similar interests that gave them up due to peer pressure.

In high school I frequently recall black and Latino students who were literally afraid to turn in homework in front of their peers. They'd wait for the hoodlum kids to leave first and turn in papers with a whispered apology to the teacher. This happened all the way from 8th grade to 12th grade. I've seen kids get beaten up after a teacher announced they got the highest score on a test (this was back in the 90s when you could still single out students for their accomplishments).

So what is the problem here? A culture that equates educational success with selling out or otherwise punishes people for excelling. It's the same culture that called Bill Cosby a sell-out because he want from a teen in the projects to a millionaire with a Ph.D, despite his life-long efforts to help his own people and encourage education and success. This is a culture associated with poor people of ANY ethnicity, including whites. Believe me I've seen enough pot-smoking tatted up white trash hitting their children to know we can do it too.

BTW my campus is one of the most diverse in California, and whites are the minority, with Latino students in the middle and the majority is Indian and Asian, mostly Chinese. So diversity and support of non-white students is definitely not an issue. We have tons of black students too, just not going into the hard sciences.

So let's not talk about "Google needs to hire N amount of black employees" and say "How do we reach out to the black community and remove the stigma on educational success". THAT is the issue.

The big elephant in the room (4, Interesting)

eclectro (227083) | about 3 months ago | (#47136551)

Sorry for being cynical, but they may be trying to take the eyes off an even worse number.

The major thing they left out of their diversity statistics is how many people are over the age of 40. It's pretty clear that ageism is pervasive in the tech sector - and the internet. Last time I mentioned this, there was a serious sneer response to my post saying that "old people" (i.e. people over 40) should be discriminated against, "because they have issues."

There you have it slashdot. You had better be looking over your shoulder! You aren't getting any younger!

would it produce better search? (1)

superwiz (655733) | about 3 months ago | (#47136589)

The government may want to care about diversity because it wants to affect social change. So might cultural institutions. If Google was hiring editors for content, they would need to be aware of cultural diversities. But why would they need to do that to create better technical solutions? Does being a minority member make one a more competent engineer? Please, don't make the "all other things being equal" arguments, by the way. All things are never equal when it comes to human beings. Why wouldn't Google want to find the best technical people to solve technical problems? Let's be clear, Google is very good at doing what they do. So anyone making an argument that Google is deliberately rejects minorities is actually racist. They are making the argument that rejecting minorities is what makes someone technologically better. This is not an argument worthy of minority-rights advocates. It's an argument worthy of white supremacists. In fact, I have heard white supremacists make arguments just like that. Google finds people who are best at developing technology. The proof is in the pudding.

Sarcasm (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 3 months ago | (#47136597)

It is getting increasingly hard to tell when culture is being sarcastic from when it is just being incredibly stupid.

I'll just leave this here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#47136601)

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

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