Google is upping the ante in the quest for diversity. The tech giant plans to spend $150 million on an extensive campaign to bring more women and racial minorities into the industry, USA Today reported in an exclusive interview with Nancy Lee, Google’s vice president of people operations.
Last year the company spent some $115 million on its diversity initiatives, but Lee told USA Today that this figure alone doesn’t show the depth of Google’s investment. It’s also reflected in the company’s various programs and strategies—which include regularly evaluating its hiring, promotion, performance-evaluation and compensation programs for fairness, and embedding company engineers at HBCUs to teach and evaluate the schools’ computer science curricula.
“Our strategy is extremely long-term. Sure, we are doing things that can show an impact maybe this year, maybe next year. But we recognize that there is not enough talent entering into our industry and that we have a lot of work to do,” she told the news site.
Google’s first move toward a more open discussion of diversity in tech was to publish a report that showed the racial and gender disparity in the field. It’s not a secret that white and Asian men are overrepresented in tech. At Google, 70 percent of employees are men, while Latinos make up only 3 percent, and black Americans a mere 2 percent, of the workforce.
According to USA Today, Google’s strategy isn’t purely an unselfish one; it’s born out of a recognition that global demographics are changing—thus calling for a company that can adapt. In the U.S., whites are predicted to be the minority by 2044, USA Today notes, while Latino and African-American buying power has continually increased.
“The tech industry really understands that the future of our industry means we have to be more inclusive,” Lee says. “We are literally building products for the world. It can’t be this homogeneous.”