Latinos, surpassing the number of white people in March, now comprise the largest ethnic group in California. One of every two of us in Los Angeles County, the most populous county in America, is Latino. And Latinos represent the largest minority in the United States.
But at the California-based search, advertising and tech giant Google, Latinos hardly exist.
The company this week not only released race, ethnicity and gender figures for its workforce, but it admitted that it needs to do better. Still, an L.A.-based Latino group was not entirely impressed:
Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, had this to say:
The talent is available. Last month we learned that the University of California system – in Google's home state – admitted more Latinos than whites for the first time in history. The next step won't be easy, but it is critically important, and that is to help Google connect to the deep pool of Latino talent that is equipped to move the company into the next generation, both in terms of technology and multiculturalism.
He said he spoke to a Google rep who affirmed the company's commitment to diversifying its workforce. “With its rapid expansion, there is real opportunity for Latinos to enter this industry …,” Nogales said.
Latinos make up only 3 percent of the Mountain View-based company's estimated 50,000 workers. (Google and its YouTube site have facilities on the Westside, too).
Google says that only 2 percent of its tech staff is Latino and that only 1 percent of its leadership belongs to the ethnic group, according to the NHMC.
African Americans comprise only 2 percent of Google's employees. Women represent less than 1 in 3 (30 percent) people on staff.
Asian Americans appeared to make out okay, with a 30 percent representation rate (people of Asian descent make up about 14 percent of California's population).
In a statement, Google sounds embarrassed (and maybe it should be):
… 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.
… 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.