Tag Archives: Diversity

Update on the Department of Labor Lawsuit

Editor’s note: On Friday, an administrative law judge for the United States Department of Labor issued a recommended decision and order regarding a demand for extensive data about Google employees made by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor. The decision concluded that the OFCCP demands were “over-broad, intrusive on employee privacy, unduly burdensome and insufficiently focused on obtaining the relevant information.” We asked Eileen Naughton, our VP of People Operations (see her previous post on pay equity) to provide more detail.

You may have read about a wide-ranging audit of Google being performed by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor.  

We’ve complied with various past OFCCP audits in connection with federal contracts, and those audits have not resulted in challenges to our practices.  Over the last year, in connection with this audit alone, we've provided more than 329,000 documents and more than 1.7 million data points, including detailed compensation information, in response to OFCCP’s 18 different data requests.

But ultimately we reached an impasse when OFCCP demanded even more: employees’ compensation and other job information dating back 15 years, as well as extensive personal employee data and contact information for more than 25,000 employees.  We were concerned that these requests went beyond the scope of what was relevant to this specific audit, and posed unnecessary risks to employees’ privacy.  Despite our repeated efforts to resolve this impasse informally, OFCCP issued a complaint against us demanding access to the information and asserting we had no right to challenge their requests.

On Friday, an administrative law judge for the United States Department of Labor issued a recommended decision and order as to OFCCP’s demand for this data. The decision concluded that the demands were “over-broad, intrusive on employee privacy, unduly burdensome and insufficiently focused on obtaining the relevant information.”

In the course of the litigation around the scope of the audit, an OFCCP witness asserted that there are gender-related disparities in our compensation practices related to salary negotiations. The decision found that: “Despite having several investigators interview more than 20 Google executives and managers over two days and having reviewed over a million compensation-related data points and many hundreds of thousands of documents, OFCCP offered nothing credible or reliable to show that its theory ... is based ... on anything more than speculation.”

Moreover, our own annual analysis shows no gender pay gap at Google. We’ve shared our methodology publicly. And we appreciate the decision’s recognition that our compensation policies and practices are “intricately designed to bring people on the same job with the same job performance rating to the same salary over time." The decision also notes that OFCCP has not taken sufficient steps to learn how our systems work and may not have ”accurately understood” them.

We were also concerned that providing personal contact information for more than 25,000 Google employees could have privacy implications, and the judge agreed, citing the history of government data breaches and recent hacking of Department of Labor data. 

Assuming the recommended decision becomes final, we’ll comply with the remainder of the order, and provide the much more limited data set of information the judge approved, including the contact information for a smaller sample of up to 8,000 employees.   

We invest a lot in our efforts to create a fair and inclusive environment for all our employees—across all genders and races. The judge acknowledged this, saying: “I would think that the Department would laud government contractors that spend hundreds of millions of dollars on diversity initiatives, not use those voluntary efforts against these companies."

While we're pleased with Friday’s recommended decision, we remain committed to treating, and paying, people fairly and without bias with regard to factors like gender or race. We are proud of our practices and leadership in this area, and we look forward to working constructively with OFCCP, as we complete this review and in the future.

Pride 2017: Show love, show progress, #ShowUp

Growing up in Chandigarh, India, a small, conservative city about five hours north of New Delhi, I knew early on that something about me was different. After undergrad, I moved to Champaign, IL to get a master’s degree in engineering, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of India for a small, quiet university town in the Midwest. My newfound independence abroad gave me the space to confront and accept my difference—and come out as gay.

During my first summer in the U.S., I visited Boystown in Chicago, one of the most famous gay neighborhoods in the country. It was a bright summer day and the streets were packed with smiling, laughing people from across the LGBTQ community. It was only a matter of seconds before my friends and I got caught up in the excitement and camaraderie of the place. For the first time, I felt I could be myself.

When I joined Google, I was excited to find a community of LGBTQ Googlers and allies who celebrate Pride across the world, and not just by marching in parades (although we do lots of that, too). As a company, we want to make sure our products help LGBTQ people feel they can be themselves, whether they’re in Chandigarh or Chicago.

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From displaying Pride parade routes in Maps, to the fifth consecutive year of YouTube’s #ProudToBe campaign, 2017 was all about connecting people with local Pride events and sharing experiences across the globe.

In addition to #ProudToBe, which encourages people to share their stories and connect with others around the world, YouTube made a number of commitments to continue supporting the LGBTQ community and shared a video celebrating Pride and all the great LGBTQ YouTube Creators.

#ProudToBe: Celebrate Brave Voices this Pride

Google My Business made it easier for merchants worldwide to let people know their business is “LGBTQ-friendly” or a “Transgender Safe Space.” Once merchants opt into these attributes, they’re shown on business listings in Google Maps and Search to signal to potential visitors that their establishment respects and treats all people equally.

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In New York, Senator Chuck Schumer announced a $1 million Google.org grant to record critical moments in LGBTQ history, including the night of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. The Stonewall Uprising is important to the ongoing road to civil rights for LGBTQ communities around the world—and its message is as resonant and necessary today as it was in 1969.

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US Senator Chuck Schumer announcing a Google.org grant to the LGBT Community Center of New York City in support of the Stonewall National Monument

And we launched #ShowUp, a project designed to help people take action in support of the LGBTQ community at a local level. By entering their zip code on the #ShowUp homepage, people can find the nearest parades, marches and LGBTQ-supporting nonprofits in their communities. The campaign also aims to chart progress in LGBTQ rights across eight U.S. cities by recording individual stories about why showing up matters.

We all have a reason to #ShowUp

Boystown made me feel safe to be myself. All people deserve to feel this way. At Google, we hope that, by  connecting people with local events and sharing experiences across the globe, Google can help even a few more LGBTQ people feel safe to be themselves.

Making progress on diversity and inclusion

Since 2014, when we first released data on Google’s racial and gender makeup, we’ve taken steps to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Our employees, products and business depend on us getting this right. To push our work forward, we’re thrilled that Danielle Brown will be joining Google as our new Vice President of Diversity. She’ll start in July, and comes with the deep conviction that Google provides a platform where she and the team can make a real impact internally and across the tech industry.

Danielle joins us from Intel, where she was VP and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for the past several years and, most recently, Group Chief Human Resources Officer. There she developed ambitious goals and initiatives that helped Intel increase its gender and racial diversity in its workforce and executive ranks.

At Google, Danielle will be responsible for managing our diversity and inclusion strategy, partnering with our senior executives on this vital work. While we’ve made progress in recent years for both women and people of color, there are areas for improvement across the board—in terms of our hiring, our promotion and retention, our commitments, our working environment, and how we measure success or failure.  Danielle will look at our efforts in all these areas afresh and I’m excited to work with her.

Google’s updated workforce representation data shows that overall women make up 31 percent of our employees. In the past three years, women in tech roles have grown from 17 percent to 20 percent (from 19 percent to 20 percent over the last year) and women in leadership roles have grown from 21 percent to 25 percent (from 24 percent to 25 percent over the last year).

In the same period, our Black non-tech population has grown from 2 percent to 5 percent (from 4 percent to 5 percent over the last year). And in the past year, Hispanic Googlers have grown from 3 percent to 4 percent of our employees.

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Overall gender and racial representation at Google.

But clearly, there is much more to do.

Black Googlers still make up only 1 percent of our technical workforce, and we’re working to change that. Sponsored by Google vice president Bonita Stewart, we recently launched Howard West, a three-month engineering residency on our campus for Howard University computer science majors. Our Google in Residence initiative, which embeds Google engineers at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), is continuing into its sixth year this fall.

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Howard West students in their lounge at the Googleplex.

For all of our communities of color, we’re working to make sure our culture is rewarding and welcoming through events, town halls, employee resource groups, and ensuring fairness in the promotion process. We know this is critical to making it safe for everyone to bring their best and most innovative ideas to the table. For example, the idea for our Really Blue Pixel came from Alberto Villarreal, the phone’s creative lead and industrial design manager, who derived the color from the Mexico City of his youth. The phone was released in October and sold out within minutes. Alberto is part of a vibrant community of Hispanic Googlers, whose contributions are essential to our ability to reflect the world around us, especially here at our California HQ.

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Alberto Villarreal with the Really Blue Pixel.

As with Blacks and Hispanics, hiring more female engineers—and empowering them to thrive—is a top priority. YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki recently highlighted the industry-wide importance of women's support groups and personal commitments by senior leaders to advancing gender diversity. I completely agree; they are both essential in creating a supportive culture, and providing opportunities for women and people of color to grow their careers. Google’s employee resource groups, including Women@Google and Google Women in Engineering, both of which are actively supported by senior executives and have thousands of members, regularly host summits, provide career development opportunities, and offer mentorship.

More than other industries, the technology sector is extremely open about its challenges in creating a diverse and inclusive workforce. We all welcome the conversation and the scrutiny; it helps us raise the bar in terms of this important work and our commitment to it. I’m thrilled to welcome Danielle to Google, because she shares both our values and our desire for action.

For more information, take a look at our updated representation data.

Celebrating businesses giving back this Ramadan

In the heart of Istanbul, where I was born and raised, is the Hagia Sophia, a breathtakingly beautiful monument with a storied history. Over the centuries it has been a cathedral, a mosque, and a museum. When you stand inside, you see Arabic calligraphy alongside Christian relics. From afar you see its minarets surrounding a Byzantine church. While each visitor identifies in her own way with the Hagia Sophia, it gives everyone a sense of wonder.   

For me, the month of Ramadan is similar. It’s a month when Muslims take time to reflect on their own paths of personal and spiritual growth. While this experience is unique to each individual, the act of giving back to one’s community is shared by Muslims the world over. In Turkey there is an expression: “We are created equally, but our lots in life are given differently.” During Ramadan, Muslims from all walks of life help those in their own communities who are less fortunate.

In this spirit, I want to share the story of Russell Khan, the co-founder of Honest Chops, an organic butcher shop in New York. Honest Chops, like countless other Muslim-owned businesses this Ramadan, is giving back to its community by donating 10,000 pounds of meat to local nonprofits. Particularly heartwarming for me is that Google’s free online business listing—which allowed Honest Chops to be found on Search and Maps—helped Russell grow his business and his impact.

I’m proud that Google played a role in helping Russell grow his business. Digital skills—social media, building a website or putting a business on the map—empower people to bring their ideas to life in and for their communities. That’s why Google provides digital skills training in countries around the world. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where I work, we’ve trained 5 million people in digital skills since 2014, and 40 percent of those participants are women. Think of how many people could benefit from a Russell in their community. You can learn more about getting your business online at g.co/GetYourBusinessOnline.

As the month of Ramadan comes to an end, I encourage us all to reflect on the meaning of community. The values of this holiday transcend all religions and cultures, and I hope they inspire you as much as they inspire me—and Russell.

Ramazan'ınız mübarek olsun. Happy Ramadan!

Celebrating businesses giving back this Ramadan

In the heart of Istanbul, where I was born and raised, is the Hagia Sophia, a breathtakingly beautiful monument with a storied history. Over the centuries it has been a cathedral, a mosque, and a museum. When you stand inside, you see Arabic calligraphy alongside Christian relics. From afar you see its minarets surrounding a Byzantine church. While each visitor identifies in her own way with the Hagia Sophia, it gives everyone a sense of wonder.   

For me, the month of Ramadan is similar. It’s a month when Muslims take time to reflect on their own paths of personal and spiritual growth. While this experience is unique to each individual, the act of giving back to one’s community is shared by Muslims the world over. In Turkey there is an expression: “We are created equally, but our lots in life are given differently.” During Ramadan, Muslims from all walks of life help those in their own communities who are less fortunate.

In this spirit, I want to share the story of Russell Khan, the co-founder of Honest Chops, an organic butcher shop in New York. Honest Chops, like countless other Muslim-owned businesses this Ramadan, is giving back to its community by donating 10,000 pounds of meat to local nonprofits. Particularly heartwarming for me is that Google’s free online business listing—which allowed Honest Chops to be found on Search and Maps—helped Russell grow his business and his impact.

I’m proud that Google played a role in helping Russell grow his business. Digital skills—social media, building a website or putting a business on the map—empower people to bring their ideas to life in and for their communities. That’s why Google provides digital skills training in countries around the world. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where I work, we’ve trained 5 million people in digital skills since 2014, and 40 percent of those participants are women. Think of how many people could benefit from a Russell in their community. You can learn more about getting your business online at g.co/GetYourBusinessOnline.

As the month of Ramadan comes to an end, I encourage us all to reflect on the meaning of community. The values of this holiday transcend all religions and cultures, and I hope they inspire you as much as they inspire me—and Russell.

Ramazan'ınız mübarek olsun. Happy Ramadan!

Empowering a new generation of localization professionals

When her grandmother Chadia turned 80, Christina Hayek—an Arabic Language Manager at Google—and her sisters wanted to give their beloved sitto a gift that would bring her closer to them. Chadia lives in Lebanon, but her children and grandchildren are spread across the world. To bridge this geographical gap, Christina and her siblings gave their grandmother an Android smartphone. Much to Chadia’s surprise, she was able to use her phone in Arabic straight out of the box.

This isn’t magic—it’s the work of a dedicated localization team at Google, whose mission is to create a diverse user experience that fits every language and every culture. Spread over more than 30 countries, our team of passionate translators and reviewers makes sure that all Google products are fun and easy to use in 70+ languages—and sound natural to people everywhere. Localization goes beyond translation. For example, while references to baseball and donuts work well in the U.S., these aren’t necessarily popular concepts in other cultures. So for we might change them to football in Italy and croissant in France.

With more and more people from around the world coming online every day, the localization industry keeps growing—and so does the demand for great translators, reviewers, and localization professionals. So, as part of Google’s mission to build products for everyone and make the web globally accessible, no matter where people are, we’re launching a massive open online course (MOOC) called Localization Essentials.

Localization Essentials was developed in collaboration with Udacity, and is free to access. It covers all localization basics needed to develop global products, from the types of software that we use to the jobs available in this industry. By sharing our knowledge, we hope that more culturally relevant products will become available to people everywhere, and provide opportunities to them that they didn’t have before.

Source: Education


Empowering a new generation of localization professionals

When her grandmother Chadia turned 80, Christina Hayek—an Arabic Language Manager at Google—and her sisters wanted to give their beloved sitto a gift that would bring her closer to them. Chadia lives in Lebanon, but her children and grandchildren are spread across the world. To bridge this geographical gap, Christina and her siblings gave their grandmother an Android smartphone. Much to Chadia’s surprise, she was able to use her phone in Arabic straight out of the box.

This isn’t magic—it’s the work of a dedicated localization team at Google, whose mission is to create a diverse user experience that fits every language and every culture. Spread over more than 30 countries, our team of passionate translators and reviewers makes sure that all Google products are fun and easy to use in 70+ languages—and sound natural to people everywhere. Localization goes beyond translation. For example, while references to baseball and donuts work well in the U.S., these aren’t necessarily popular concepts in other cultures. So we might change them to football in Italy and croissant in France.

With more and more people from around the world coming online every day, the localization industry keeps growing—and so does the demand for great translators, reviewers, and localization professionals. So, as part of Google’s mission to build products for everyone and make the web globally accessible, no matter where people are, we’re launching a massive open online course (MOOC) called Localization Essentials.

Localization Essentials was developed in collaboration with Udacity, and is free to access. It covers all localization basics needed to develop global products, from the types of software that we use to the jobs available in this industry. By sharing our knowledge, we hope that more culturally relevant products will become available to people everywhere, and provide opportunities to them that they didn’t have before.

Source: Education


Empowering a new generation of localization professionals

When her grandmother Chadia turned 80, Christina Hayek—an Arabic Language Manager at Google—and her sisters wanted to give their beloved sitto a gift that would bring her closer to them. Chadia lives in Lebanon, but her children and grandchildren are spread across the world. To bridge this geographical gap, Christina and her siblings gave their grandmother an Android smartphone. Much to Chadia’s surprise, she was able to use her phone in Arabic straight out of the box.

This isn’t magic—it’s the work of a dedicated localization team at Google, whose mission is to create a diverse user experience that fits every language and every culture. Spread over more than 30 countries, our team of passionate translators and reviewers makes sure that all Google products are fun and easy to use in 70+ languages—and sound natural to people everywhere. Localization goes beyond translation. For example, while references to baseball and donuts work well in the U.S., these aren’t necessarily popular concepts in other cultures. So we might change them to football in Italy and croissant in France.

With more and more people from around the world coming online every day, the localization industry keeps growing—and so does the demand for great translators, reviewers, and localization professionals. So, as part of Google’s mission to build products for everyone and make the web globally accessible, no matter where people are, we’re launching a massive open online course (MOOC) called Localization Essentials.

Localization Essentials was developed in collaboration with Udacity, and is free to access. It covers all localization basics needed to develop global products, from the types of software that we use to the jobs available in this industry. By sharing our knowledge, we hope that more culturally relevant products will become available to people everywhere, and provide opportunities to them that they didn’t have before.

Source: Education


Our focus on pay equity

Pay equity is a huge issue, not just for Silicon Valley companies, but across every industry in every country.

It’s very important to us that men and women who join Google in the same role are compensated on a level playing field, when they start and throughout their careers here.

That’s why, in the hopes of encouraging a broader conversation around the pay gap - and how companies can fight it - we shared our top-level analysis publicly in 2016. Google conducts rigorous, annual analyses so that our pay practices remain aligned with our commitment to equal pay practices.

So we were quite surprised when a representative of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at the U.S. Department of Labor (OFCCP) accused us of not compensating women fairly.  We were taken aback by this assertion, which came without any supporting data or methodology.  The OFCCP representative claimed to have reached this conclusion even as the OFCCP is seeking thousands of employee records, including contact details of our employees, in addition to the hundreds of thousands of documents we’ve already produced in response to 18 different document requests.

The fact is that our annual analysis is extremely scientific and robust. It relies on the same confidence interval that is used in medical testing (>95%).  And we have made the methodology available to other businesses who want to test their own compensation practices for equal pay.

So how does it work?

In short, each year, we suggest an amount for every employee’s new compensation (consisting of base salary, bonus and equity) based on role, job level, job location as well as current and recent performance ratings.  This suggested amount is “blind” to gender; the analysts who calculate the suggested amounts do not have access to employees’ gender data. An employee’s manager has limited discretion to adjust the suggested amount, providing they cite a legitimate adjustment rationale.

Our pay equity model then looks at employees in the same job categories, and analyzes their compensation to confirm that the adjusted amount shows no statistically significant differences between men’s and women’s compensation.

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In late 2016, we performed our most recent analysis across 52 different, major job categories, and found no gender pay gap. Nevertheless, if individual employees are concerned, or think there are unique factors at play, or want a more individualized assessment, we dive deeper and make any appropriate corrections.

Our analysis gives us confidence that there is no gender pay gap at Google.  In fact, we recently expanded the analysis to cover race in the US.

We hope to work with the OFCCP to resolve this issue, and to help in its mission to improve equal pay across federal contractors.  And we look forward to demonstrating the robustness of Google’s approach to equal pay.

Our focus on pay equity

Pay equity is a huge issue, not just for Silicon Valley companies, but across every industry in every country.

It’s very important to us that men and women who join Google in the same role are compensated on a level playing field, when they start and throughout their careers here.

That’s why, in the hopes of encouraging a broader conversation around the pay gap - and how companies can fight it - we shared our top-level analysis publicly in 2016. Google conducts rigorous, annual analyses so that our pay practices remain aligned with our commitment to equal pay practices.

So we were quite surprised when a representative of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at the U.S. Department of Labor (OFCCP) accused us of not compensating women fairly.  We were taken aback by this assertion, which came without any supporting data or methodology.  The OFCCP representative claimed to have reached this conclusion even as the OFCCP is seeking thousands of employee records, including contact details of our employees, in addition to the hundreds of thousands of documents we’ve already produced in response to 18 different document requests.

The fact is that our annual analysis is extremely scientific and robust. It relies on the same confidence interval that is used in medical testing (>95%).  And we have made the methodology available to other businesses who want to test their own compensation practices for equal pay.

So how does it work?

In short, each year, we suggest an amount for every employee’s new compensation (consisting of base salary, bonus and equity) based on role, job level, job location as well as current and recent performance ratings.  This suggested amount is “blind” to gender; the analysts who calculate the suggested amounts do not have access to employees’ gender data. An employee’s manager has limited discretion to adjust the suggested amount, providing they cite a legitimate adjustment rationale.

Our pay equity model then looks at employees in the same job categories, and analyzes their compensation to confirm that the adjusted amount shows no statistically significant differences between men’s and women’s compensation.

equalpay_action_keyword.jpg

In late 2016, we performed our most recent analysis across 52 different, major job categories, and found no gender pay gap. Nevertheless, if individual employees are concerned, or think there are unique factors at play, or want a more individualized assessment, we dive deeper and make any appropriate corrections.

Our analysis gives us confidence that there is no gender pay gap at Google.  In fact, we recently expanded the analysis to cover race in the US.

We hope to work with the OFCCP to resolve this issue, and to help in its mission to improve equal pay across federal contractors.  And we look forward to demonstrating the robustness of Google’s approach to equal pay.