Google is making slow progress in diversity efforts

Embracing diversity is just one of the latest passions of the technology world. Companies involved in the web and messaging do things like releasing diverse emoji, while games like the Sims 4 implement changes that reflect dissolving gender and sexuality boundaries.

But key tech players such as Microsoft, Facebook, and Google have also been keen to demonstrate how diverse their respective workforces are. Last week, Google released its latest diversity report - including, for the first time, details of black and Hispanic intake - and it shows that while the company is becoming less white and less male, progress remains slow.

Google has been involved in a diversity-boosting program for a couple of years now and the latest figures show that 19 per cent of its hires to 'technical' positions in 2015 were women. This is up from 18 per cent in 2014, and 17 per cent in 2013. Google is keen to point out that across the company, the number of women in leadership roles is also increasing. Back in 2013 the figure stood at 21 per cent, increasing to 22 per cent in 2014. In 2015, there was a further jump to 24 per cent.

The new figures also highlight something of an ethnic breakdown. In 2015, 4 per cent of hires at Google were black workers, and 2 per cent of its overall workforce is black. Figures are slightly higher for Hispanic workers. 5 per cent of hires were Hispanic in 2015, with Hispanic workers making up 3 per cent of employees.

The company recognises it has more to do: "We saw encouraging signs of progress in 2015, but we’re still far from where we need to be."

In addition to its latest report, Google also published a video discussing its diversity figures, saying: "We're supporting diversity at Google and beyond, because we know that a diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone."

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