Google is not alone. The tech industry has a big diversity problem

Google is not alone. The tech industry has a big diversity problem

So – as over a month has passed since this article was originally posted, and this issue continues to be in the news, some interesting and frustrating updates:

  • Nearly 40 percent of women who earn engineering degrees quit the profession or never enter the field at all.
  • Among the 38 percent of women who entered and subsequently left the field, 30 percent cited organizational climate, characterized by non-supportive supervisors or co-workers and general incivility, as a primary motivator.
  • Nearly half left due to working conditions, like frequent travel, lack of advancement opportunities or low salary.
  • One female engineer said, “There isn’t a strong network of females in engineering. You either need to learn to be ‘one of the guys’ or blaze the trail yourself, which is very difficult,”
  • Tech firms are failing to raise awareness about the struggles of female engineers and provide a fair and inclusive environment.


Creating an inclusive culture that values and respects diversity is a journey. Tech companies need to commit to embarking on this journey or continue to lose great talent – and face legal battles.

Per the original article…

So unless you are off the grid, you’ve probably heard about Google’s diversity issues, and the most recent incident requiring damage control. The now infamous, non-pro diversity, manifesto written by a former Google engineer and leaked online late last week. The 10-page memo entitled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” circulated around Google and beyond. The memo stated that women are underrepresented in tech because of inherent and psychological differences, not because of discrimination within the workplace. The new Google VP of Diversity has her work cut out for her.

Wow. Just wow. I’m glad to see Google fired this employee. An ignorant and disrespectful tirade is not the professional or appropriate way to express one’s views. That doesn’t negate the fact the tech industry has a big problem with diversity. According to recent reports, here’s a look at major tech companies’ comparative diversity:

Google’s workforce is only about 20% women. Apple only has 20%. Facebook has 19% women. And Twitter a mere 15%.

It’s not just women. Black and Hispanics are also hard to find in our biggest tech companies.

Google employs only 3% Hispanics, and 1% black. Apple? 8% Hispanic and 8% black. Facebook has only 3% Hispanic, 1% black. And Twitter employs 4% Hispanic, and 2% black.

Though many tech companies, including Google, are trying to remedy those numbers, those numbers are still astonishing and insulting. Those demographics are also not a reflection of our current diverse workforce. A workforce that is changing, and rapidly.

Despite what this former Google engineer says, diversity is good for business. Diverse groups of employees reflect diverse groups of customers. They bring diverse ideas and experiences. Diverse ideas and experiences contribute to increased sharing of thoughts and ideas, development of new solutions, and increased innovation.

All of this contributes to maximizing growth.

So yes, the idea of encouraging and embracing diversity in the workforce is extremely important. It’s time for every organization, not just tech, to embrace diversity. Your profits – and your customers – will thank you for it!

Want to learn more about creating a culture that values diversity? Download our Diversity Checklist:


About Scott Span, MSOD: is CEO & Lead Consultant of Tolero Solutions – a Leadership Effectiveness & Change Management firm.  He helps clients in achieving success through people, creating organizations where people enjoy working and customers enjoy doing business. 

Email | Website | LinkedIn | Twitter | Blog Facebook


*All Rights Reserved. Reproduction, publication, and all other use of  any and all of this content is prohibited without authorized consent of Tolero Solutions and the author.