Google And Diversity: Fail Whale

The top tech company in the world is not doing it right.

Exposing Hidden Biases at Google to Improve Diversity
Founded by a pair of men, its executive team is overwhelmingly male, and its work force is dominated by men. Over all, seven out of 10 people who work at Google are male. ...... Men make up 83 percent of Google’s engineering employees and 79 percent of its managers. ..... of its 36 executives and highest-ranking managers, just three are women. .... the firm’s poor gender diversity.. the severe underrepresentation of blacks and Hispanics among its work force. ...... the centerpiece of which is a series of workshops aimed at making Google’s culture more accepting of diversity. ..... to fight deep-set cultural biases and an insidious frat-house attitude that pervades the tech business. Tech luminaries make sexist comments so often that it has ceased to become news when they do. ....... Google’s disclosure prompted a wave of similar reports across the industry, with Facebook, Apple, Yahoo and several other tech giants issuing similarly dismal numbers about their work forces. ...... Google’s diversity training workshops, which began last year and which more than half of Google’s nearly 49,000 employees have already attended, are based on an emerging field of research in social psychology known as unconscious bias. ...... discrimination must be governed by unconscious cultural biases rather than overt sexism. ..... the more pernicious bias was most likely pervasive and hidden, a deep-set part of the culture rather than the work of a few loudmouth sexists. ...... research that shows diverse teams can be more creative than homogeneous ones ..... a dismal fact: Everyone is a little bit racist or sexist. If you think you’re immune, take the Implicit Association Test, which empirically measures people’s biases. ...... some of the most damaging bias is unconscious; people do the worst stuff without meaning to, or even recognizing that they’re being influenced by their preferences....... The effect of bias is powerful, and it isn’t softened by Silicon Valley’s supposedly meritocratic culture. ..... a computer simulation of how a systematic 1 percent bias against women in performance evaluation scores can trickle up through the ranks, leading to a severe underrepresentation of women in management. ..... we aren’t slaves to our hidden biases. The more we make ourselves aware of the role our unconscious plays on our decision-making, and the more we try to force others to confront their biases, the greater the chance we have to overcome our hidden preferences. ..... a less biased culture as a result of the training. Not long ago the company opened a new building, and someone spotted that all the conference rooms were named after male scientists; in the past, that might have gone unmentioned, but this time the names were changed. ....... the training was working. “Suddenly you go from being completely oblivious to going, ’Oh my god, it’s everywhere,’ ” he said.


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