Although Google’s users are about as diverse as it gets (the search engine is the most popular in the world, after all), its employees are not.
According to a company diversity report — the first it has ever released — Google's staff is 70 percent male and 61 percent white. Aside from this, 30 percent of employees are Asian, 3 percent are Hispanic and 2 percent are black.
Furthermore, 79 percent of leadership positions are held by men.
In a statement from Google, the company acknowledged that these are troubling numbers.
"All of our efforts, including going public with these numbers, are designed to help us recruit and develop the world's most talented and diverse people,"the statement says.
"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,” says Laszlo Block, Google’s senior vice president for people operations.
However, Block also points out the difficulties of employing a diverse staff.
"There are lots of reasons why technology companies like Google struggle to recruit and retain women and minorities," he says. "For example, women earn roughly 18 percent of all computer science degrees in the United States. Blacks and Hispanics make up under 10 percent of U.S. college grads and collect fewer than 5 percent of degrees in CS majors, respectively."
Google released the report after civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. spoke at a shareholders meeting, requesting the company share its gender and ethnicity statistics.
David Drummond, Google's senior vice president, says Google was wrong to have withheld the data.