Tag Archives: Diversity and Inclusion

How Eurovision inspired a research intern’s project

Research happens at Google everyday, on many different embedded teams throughout the company. For example, Amit Moryossef developed a machine learning model for sign language detection while interning this year with our Language team in Zurich. Since our 2021 Research Internship applications opened this month, Amit chatted with us to discuss what his experience has been like.

How did you end up pursuing research around sign language processing?

After finishing college, I started a master’s degree in computer science at Bar-Ilan University. While I was there, I was introduced to deep learning, and to doing research. I worked on natural language processing, specifically looking at text generation and gender bias in machine translation. I planned for those years to be my final years in an academic setting, and then I’d go into the workforce.

Everything changed, surprisingly, after I watched the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. They had sign-language interpretations of the songs. I realized how much of the world is not built to be accessible to the Deaf and hard of hearing communities, and this led to a bit of a shift in my plans.

Today I’m doing a PhD in computer science, working on sign language processing with the hope of making the world more accessible. This is also the topic of research I worked on at Google during my internship.

Why did you apply for an internship at Google? 

Google always seemed to me like a great place to work — a place that would have all of the resources I could ever need, both computationally and personally. I applied to Google with the honest belief that this is the best place for me to do research on what I am passionate about, and make that research available to everyone.

How did the ongoing pandemic affect your internship?

In March, I was still in denial that this would affect me, and I was hoping the internship would go as planned. In April, I received the message saying the internship would move to a virtual model which was initially disappointing on a personal level, but made sense as the world was going deeper into lockdown.

The remote nature of the internship introduced new challenges. Having a supportive manager and caring recruiter were some of the key factors for me in dealing with some of these challenges successfully—helping me get assistance with unfamiliar tools, fostering relationships with new colleagues and helping me to create and maintain a work-life balance.

What project was your internship focused on? 

My internship project was about sign language detection for video conferencing applications.  This task is simply defined as to detect when someone uses sign language on a video call, and set them as the current “speaker” of that call, just like a person using their voice would be. This work goes hand in hand with my PhD research—making the world more accessible to people who use sign language.

Maayan Gazuli, an Israeli Sign Language interpreter, sits in a chair and demonstrates the sign language detection system.

Maayan Gazuli, an Israeli Sign Language interpreter, demonstrates the sign language detection system.

What was the outcome of your internship? 

We designed the sign-language detection model and built an application that runs this on-device, and works with all video-conferencing applications. This means we empower signers to use whichever video conferencing applications they would like, and our system should work just as well.

We published and presented a long paper in the SLRTP workshop, as well as an academic demo and a Google AI blog post. You can try our experimental demo right now! By default, the demo acts as a sign language detector. The training code and models as well as the web demo source code is available on GitHub.

What impact has this internship experience had on your research?

I learned how to better communicate and work with folks who were previously unaware of my research and how to operate within a large organization (compared to academia).

My experience showed me the practical application of my research, and that it is possible to change the world for the better.

exploreCSR puts students on a path to computer science research

Nimeesha Chan is looking for “a-ha” moments. She’s a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago studying computer science (CS), and equates it to connecting dots between different concepts, like “keeping wires and spare parts to repurpose them to fix something else.” Last year she attended a workshop hosted by exploreCSR awardee Dr. Shanon Reckinger.

exploreCSR funds faculty to host workshops for undergraduates from underrepresented groups in order to encourage them to pursue CS research. As part of Google’s commitments to racial equity in education, we’ve provided exploreCSR awards to 50 institutions around the world for the 2020 academic year. In 2018 and 2019, an average of 59 percent of students surveyed by exploreCSR identified as women of color. In 2020, 89 percent of U.S. and Canada awardees plan to engage Black and Latinx students. 

Here’s what Nimeesha had to say about what she learned from the exploreCSR workshop and what’s next for her journey in computer science research.

A group of young women collaborate on a project.

Nimeesha, second from left, and peers collaborate on a computer science research project at the University of Illinois Chicago 2019 exploreCSR workshop.

What did you take away from the workshop?

I learned how non-linear the path to research is. Some go straight to graduate school, and some go into industry first. Some know exactly what they want to explore, and some figure it out along the way. Engaging with the faculty members, graduate students and alumni who shared their journeys made applying to graduate school a lot less daunting, and a much more tangible path to pursue. The common denominator is a drive to push beyond what we already know, and make improvements and new discoveries, and I am so inspired by that. I also made new friends who I can both lean on and support as we get through college together!


What are you looking forward to in the year ahead?

Working on two research projects, learning to be more effective at tutoring our Data Structures class, and doing more work to support underrepresented groups in CS. The pandemic, as unfortunate as it is, has stimulated major growth in data-driven medical research, both in industry and academia, and I am so excited to be a part of that space when I graduate next spring. 


What advice do you have for others curious to start their journey in CS research?

Do something today! Schedule a meeting or send an email to your CS professor or TA, share your interests, and ask about their research and resources they would recommend looking into. Alternatively, pick a random tech talk/event to attend, whether in or out of school, or online, and explore current research. The earlier you start, the more holistic your view of the field will be, and you may be surprised at what you discover!


Congratulations to the faculty across 50 institutions who received our 2020 exploreCSR awards. We look forward to the opportunities this year’s awardees provide to students like Nimeesha, influencing a diversity of future CS researchers to shape our world for the better.

exploreCSR puts students on a path to computer science research

Nimeesha Chan is looking for “a-ha” moments. She’s a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago studying computer science (CS), and equates it to connecting dots between different concepts, like “keeping wires and spare parts to repurpose them to fix something else.” Last year she attended a workshop hosted by exploreCSR awardee Dr. Shanon Reckinger.

exploreCSR funds faculty to host workshops for undergraduates from underrepresented groups in order to encourage them to pursue CS research. As part of Google’s commitments to racial equity in education, we’ve provided exploreCSR awards to 50 institutions around the world for the 2020 academic year. In 2018 and 2019, an average of 59 percent of students surveyed by exploreCSR identified as women of color. In 2020, 89 percent of U.S. and Canada awardees plan to engage Black and Latinx students. 

Here’s what Nimeesha had to say about what she learned from the exploreCSR workshop and what’s next for her journey in computer science research.

A group of young women collaborate on a project.

Nimeesha, second from left, and peers collaborate on a computer science research project at the University of Illinois Chicago 2019 exploreCSR workshop.

What did you take away from the workshop?

I learned how non-linear the path to research is. Some go straight to graduate school, and some go into industry first. Some know exactly what they want to explore, and some figure it out along the way. Engaging with the faculty members, graduate students and alumni who shared their journeys made applying to graduate school a lot less daunting, and a much more tangible path to pursue. The common denominator is a drive to push beyond what we already know, and make improvements and new discoveries, and I am so inspired by that. I also made new friends who I can both lean on and support as we get through college together!


What are you looking forward to in the year ahead?

Working on two research projects, learning to be more effective at tutoring our Data Structures class, and doing more work to support underrepresented groups in CS. The pandemic, as unfortunate as it is, has stimulated major growth in data-driven medical research, both in industry and academia, and I am so excited to be a part of that space when I graduate next spring. 


What advice do you have for others curious to start their journey in CS research?

Do something today! Schedule a meeting or send an email to your CS professor or TA, share your interests, and ask about their research and resources they would recommend looking into. Alternatively, pick a random tech talk/event to attend, whether in or out of school, or online, and explore current research. The earlier you start, the more holistic your view of the field will be, and you may be surprised at what you discover!


Congratulations to the faculty across 50 institutions who received our 2020 exploreCSR awards. We look forward to the opportunities this year’s awardees provide to students like Nimeesha, influencing a diversity of future CS researchers to shape our world for the better.

exploreCSR puts students on a path to computer science research

Nimeesha Chan is looking for “a-ha” moments. She’s a student at the University of Illinois at Chicago studying computer science (CS), and equates it to connecting dots between different concepts, like “keeping wires and spare parts to repurpose them to fix something else.” Last year she attended a workshop hosted by exploreCSR awardee Dr. Shanon Reckinger.

exploreCSR funds faculty to host workshops for undergraduates from underrepresented groups in order to encourage them to pursue CS research. As part of Google’s commitments to racial equity in education, we’ve provided exploreCSR awards to 50 institutions around the world for the 2020 academic year. In 2018 and 2019, an average of 59 percent of students surveyed by exploreCSR identified as women of color. In 2020, 89 percent of U.S. and Canada awardees plan to engage Black and Latinx students. 

Here’s what Nimeesha had to say about what she learned from the exploreCSR workshop and what’s next for her journey in computer science research.

A group of young women collaborate on a project.

Nimeesha, second from left, and peers collaborate on a computer science research project at the University of Illinois Chicago 2019 exploreCSR workshop.

What did you take away from the workshop?

I learned how non-linear the path to research is. Some go straight to graduate school, and some go into industry first. Some know exactly what they want to explore, and some figure it out along the way. Engaging with the faculty members, graduate students and alumni who shared their journeys made applying to graduate school a lot less daunting, and a much more tangible path to pursue. The common denominator is a drive to push beyond what we already know, and make improvements and new discoveries, and I am so inspired by that. I also made new friends who I can both lean on and support as we get through college together!


What are you looking forward to in the year ahead?

Working on two research projects, learning to be more effective at tutoring our Data Structures class, and doing more work to support underrepresented groups in CS. The pandemic, as unfortunate as it is, has stimulated major growth in data-driven medical research, both in industry and academia, and I am so excited to be a part of that space when I graduate next spring. 


What advice do you have for others curious to start their journey in CS research?

Do something today! Schedule a meeting or send an email to your CS professor or TA, share your interests, and ask about their research and resources they would recommend looking into. Alternatively, pick a random tech talk/event to attend, whether in or out of school, or online, and explore current research. The earlier you start, the more holistic your view of the field will be, and you may be surprised at what you discover!


Congratulations to the faculty across 50 institutions who received our 2020 exploreCSR awards. We look forward to the opportunities this year’s awardees provide to students like Nimeesha, influencing a diversity of future CS researchers to shape our world for the better.

Progress on our racial equity commitments

Editor’s note: In June, our CEO Sundar Pichai shared the company’s commitments to advance racial equity. The following note was sent to employees today, and sets out the progress we’ve made over the last 100+ days.  

Hi everyone, 


In June, we committed to continue building sustainable equity for Google’s Black+ community and making our products and programs helpful in the moments that matter most to Black users. Thanks to the work of hundreds of Googlers, I’m glad to share some of the progress we’ve made over the last 100+ days. I want to acknowledge two things up front: first, this is only a progress report—systems-level change takes time, and we’re invested for the long term. Second, while much of our initial work has been focused on the U.S., we are deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion globally, and will continue to work with local leaders to make sure these approaches can benefit Black+ Googlers everywhere.

Increasing supplier diversity 

We rely on thousands of suppliers to help us run our business—from marketing agencies and construction to food and professional services. Today we are setting a goal to spend $100 million with Black-owned businesses, as part of our broader commitment to spend a minimum of $1 billion with diverse-owned suppliers in the U.S., every year starting in 2021. This commitment will bring more business to a diverse set of suppliers, and more importantly, create sustained economic impact for these communities.

Supporting small business, job seekers and students

Increasing the diversity of our suppliers is one example of how we are helping to create economic opportunity for Black communities. Our partnership with Opportunity Finance Network is another: over $9 million in loans and grants for Black-owned businesses have been allocated to local partners out of the $50 million we pledged in June. We’ve also selected 76 founders to receive funding from the $5 million U.S. Black Founders Fund, and we’ve established a $1 million fund in Brazil and a $2 million fund in Europeto support Black founders outside the U.S.


In education, welaunched the Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness Program in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to help equip Historically Black College and University students with digital skills. And, we’ll grant 50 universities an exploreCSR award for the 2020-2021 academic year to help attract and retain underrepresented students in computer science. 

Supporting racial justice organizations

In June, we committed $12 million to support racial justice organizations—almost all of which has been distributed. We’ve also embedded a team of pro-bono engineers in the Center for Policing Equity to help expand its National Justice Database. Globally, Google.org has committed $1 million to support local organizations in Brazil, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Today, we’re committing another $1.5 million to support racial justice organizations and empower Black communities across Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on entrepreneurs and job skilling for Black youth.

Building helpful products

On the product side, we’re continuing to make our products more helpful in the moments that matter most to Black users. Recent activations include a new Black-owned business attribute on Maps, Assistant responses on Black Lives Matter, and new ways marketers can support Black-owned publishers in Display & Video 360—with more to come. We’ve also announced thefirst YouTube Originals to come from our #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, a $100 million global commitment to acquire and produce programming focused on Black experiences and racial justice education, as well as support Black YouTube creators and artists.

Supporting Black+ Googlers throughout their careers

Meaningful, lasting change needs to come from within our own walls. That means looking across the experience of underrepresented Googlers, including Black+, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, and at all of our internal processes, including recruiting, leveling, performance, promotion, talent assessment and retention practices.


We’ve laid some good groundwork here. Since June, we’ve doubled the Retention & Progression team so that each organization has a designated consultant to support underrepresented Googlers, and we plan to triple our investment in this program by 2022. Meanwhile, we continue to roll out more robust checks for fairness and equity in our Perf process, including this cycle. 


We’ve also taken steps to create a deeper sense of belonging for our Black+ community, from offering relevant and useful benefits to fostering supportive internal communities. For example, last month we introduced a student loan repayment program to address the debt that hinders economic progress for many communities of color. We also increased the percentage of Black+ mental health counselors available to Googlers in the U.S. and are partnering with healthcare providers to create new programs for concerns that disproportionately affect our Black+ community, to be in place by 2022. In EMEA, we've launched a new speaker series—RE:EMEA—to localize the conversation on racial equity and increase our understanding of the region’s unique history. And to create community globally, next year we’ll roll out a six-month onboarding program for Black+ Nooglers to help build networks during those first few months at Google.

Attracting new talent and investing in long-term growth of sites 

In June, we committed to improving representation of underrepresented groups at senior levels by 30 percent by 2025. Today, we’re adding a goal to more than double the number of Black+ Googlers at all other levels by 2025. 


We’ll also invest in the long-term growth of U.S. locations that contribute to a high quality of life for Black+ Googlers. Across our sites in Atlanta, Washington D.C., Chicago and New York we’ll aim to add an additional 10,000 Googlers by 2025, including 1,000 new roles by 2021. In global sites, including London, we will continue to focus on recruiting and hiring Black+ Googlers.

Holding ourselves accountable

We’ll hold ourselves accountable for creating an inclusive workplace. As part of our commitment to anti-racism educational programs, we will integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into all of our flagship employee and manager trainings. And moving forward, all VP+ performance reviews will include an evaluation of leadership in support of diversity, equity and inclusion. 


I’ll be sharing progress with Alphabet’s board regularly through transparency reports covering representation, hiring, retention, performance and promotion equity, and we’ll continue to publish our Diversity Annual Report to share this progress with all of you.

Thank you

These efforts represent a significant body of work to address systemic racism and build equity for Black+ Googlers and users for years to come. They would not have happened without the leadership and guidance of hundreds of Googlers, including Melonie and members of our Black Leadership Advisory Group and Black Googler Network—my deepest thanks to all of you. 


The equity we’re working towards internally will help us build better products and continue to support our users, businesses, and communities. This effort is at the heart of our mission to make information accessible to everyone. 


Thanks for the work thus far; we’ll continue to share progress updates.


- Sundar

Progress on our racial equity commitments

Editor’s note: In June, our CEO Sundar Pichai shared the company’s commitments to advance racial equity. The following note was sent to employees today, and sets out the progress we’ve made over the last 100+ days.  

Hi everyone, 


In June, we committed to continue building sustainable equity for Google’s Black+ community and making our products and programs helpful in the moments that matter most to Black users. Thanks to the work of hundreds of Googlers, I’m glad to share some of the progress we’ve made over the last 100+ days. I want to acknowledge two things up front: first, this is only a progress report—systems-level change takes time, and we’re invested for the long term. Second, while much of our initial work has been focused on the U.S., we are deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion globally, and will continue to work with local leaders to make sure these approaches can benefit Black+ Googlers everywhere.

Increasing supplier diversity 

We rely on thousands of suppliers to help us run our business—from marketing agencies and construction to food and professional services. Today we are setting a goal to spend $100 million with Black-owned businesses, as part of our broader commitment to spend a minimum of $1 billion with diverse-owned suppliers in the U.S., every year starting in 2021. This commitment will bring more business to a diverse set of suppliers, and more importantly, create sustained economic impact for these communities.

Supporting small business, job seekers and students

Increasing the diversity of our suppliers is one example of how we are helping to create economic opportunity for Black communities. Our partnership with Opportunity Finance Network is another: over $9 million in loans and grants for Black-owned businesses have been allocated to local partners out of the $50 million we pledged in June. We’ve also selected 76 founders to receive funding from the $5 million U.S. Black Founders Fund, and we’ve established a $1 million fund in Brazil and a $2 million fund in Europeto support Black founders outside the U.S.


In education, welaunched the Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness Program in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to help equip Historically Black College and University students with digital skills. And, we’ll grant 50 universities an exploreCSR award for the 2020-2021 academic year to help attract and retain underrepresented students in computer science. 

Supporting racial justice organizations

In June, we committed $12 million to support racial justice organizations—almost all of which has been distributed. We’ve also embedded a team of pro-bono engineers in the Center for Policing Equity to help expand its National Justice Database. Globally, Google.org has committed $1 million to support local organizations in Brazil, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Today, we’re committing another $1.5 million to support racial justice organizations and empower Black communities across Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on entrepreneurs and job skilling for Black youth.

Building helpful products

On the product side, we’re continuing to make our products more helpful in the moments that matter most to Black users. Recent activations include a new Black-owned business attribute on Maps, Assistant responses on Black Lives Matter, and new ways marketers can support Black-owned publishers in Display & Video 360—with more to come. We’ve also announced thefirst YouTube Originals to come from our #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, a $100 million global commitment to acquire and produce programming focused on Black experiences and racial justice education, as well as support Black YouTube creators and artists.

Supporting Black+ Googlers throughout their careers

Meaningful, lasting change needs to come from within our own walls. That means looking across the experience of underrepresented Googlers, including Black+, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, and at all of our internal processes, including recruiting, leveling, performance, promotion, talent assessment and retention practices.


We’ve laid some good groundwork here. Since June, we’ve doubled the Retention & Progression team so that each organization has a designated consultant to support underrepresented Googlers, and we plan to triple our investment in this program by 2022. Meanwhile, we continue to roll out more robust checks for fairness and equity in our Perf process, including this cycle. 


We’ve also taken steps to create a deeper sense of belonging for our Black+ community, from offering relevant and useful benefits to fostering supportive internal communities. For example, last month we introduced a student loan repayment program to address the debt that hinders economic progress for many communities of color. We also increased the percentage of Black+ mental health counselors available to Googlers in the U.S. and are partnering with healthcare providers to create new programs for concerns that disproportionately affect our Black+ community, to be in place by 2022. In EMEA, we've launched a new speaker series—RE:EMEA—to localize the conversation on racial equity and increase our understanding of the region’s unique history. And to create community globally, next year we’ll roll out a six-month onboarding program for Black+ Nooglers to help build networks during those first few months at Google.

Attracting new talent and investing in long-term growth of sites 

In June, we committed to improving representation of underrepresented groups at senior levels by 30 percent by 2025. Today, we’re adding a goal to more than double the number of Black+ Googlers at all other levels by 2025. 


We’ll also invest in the long-term growth of U.S. locations that contribute to a high quality of life for Black+ Googlers. Across our sites in Atlanta, Washington D.C., Chicago and New York we’ll aim to add an additional 10,000 Googlers by 2025, including 1,000 new roles by 2021. In global sites, including London, we will continue to focus on recruiting and hiring Black+ Googlers.

Holding ourselves accountable

We’ll hold ourselves accountable for creating an inclusive workplace. As part of our commitment to anti-racism educational programs, we will integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into all of our flagship employee and manager trainings. And moving forward, all VP+ performance reviews will include an evaluation of leadership in support of diversity, equity and inclusion. 


I’ll be sharing progress with Alphabet’s board regularly through transparency reports covering representation, hiring, retention, performance and promotion equity, and we’ll continue to publish our Diversity Annual Report to share this progress with all of you.

Thank you

These efforts represent a significant body of work to address systemic racism and build equity for Black+ Googlers and users for years to come. They would not have happened without the leadership and guidance of hundreds of Googlers, including Melonie and members of our Black Leadership Advisory Group and Black Googler Network—my deepest thanks to all of you. 


The equity we’re working towards internally will help us build better products and continue to support our users, businesses, and communities. This effort is at the heart of our mission to make information accessible to everyone. 


Thanks for the work thus far; we’ll continue to share progress updates.


- Sundar

Progress on our racial equity commitments

Editor’s note: In June, our CEO Sundar Pichai shared the company’s commitments to advance racial equity. The following note was sent to employees today, and sets out the progress we’ve made over the last 100+ days.  

Hi everyone, 


In June, we committed to continue building sustainable equity for Google’s Black+ community and making our products and programs helpful in the moments that matter most to Black users. Thanks to the work of hundreds of Googlers, I’m glad to share some of the progress we’ve made over the last 100+ days. I want to acknowledge two things up front: first, this is only a progress report—systems-level change takes time, and we’re invested for the long term. Second, while much of our initial work has been focused on the U.S., we are deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion globally, and will continue to work with local leaders to make sure these approaches can benefit Black+ Googlers everywhere.

Increasing supplier diversity 

We rely on thousands of suppliers to help us run our business—from marketing agencies and construction to food and professional services. Today we are setting a goal to spend $100 million with Black-owned businesses, as part of our broader commitment to spend a minimum of $1 billion with diverse-owned suppliers in the U.S., every year starting in 2021. This commitment will bring more business to a diverse set of suppliers, and more importantly, create sustained economic impact for these communities.

Supporting small business, job seekers and students

Increasing the diversity of our suppliers is one example of how we are helping to create economic opportunity for Black communities. Our partnership with Opportunity Finance Network is another: over $9 million in loans and grants for Black-owned businesses have been allocated to local partners out of the $50 million we pledged in June. We’ve also selected 76 founders to receive funding from the $5 million U.S. Black Founders Fund, and we’ve established a $1 million fund in Brazil and a $2 million fund in Europeto support Black founders outside the U.S.


In education, welaunched the Grow with Google HBCU Career Readiness Program in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to help equip Historically Black College and University students with digital skills. And, we’ll grant 50 universities an exploreCSR award for the 2020-2021 academic year to help attract and retain underrepresented students in computer science. 

Supporting racial justice organizations

In June, we committed $12 million to support racial justice organizations—almost all of which has been distributed. We’ve also embedded a team of pro-bono engineers in the Center for Policing Equity to help expand its National Justice Database. Globally, Google.org has committed $1 million to support local organizations in Brazil, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Today, we’re committing another $1.5 million to support racial justice organizations and empower Black communities across Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on entrepreneurs and job skilling for Black youth.

Building helpful products

On the product side, we’re continuing to make our products more helpful in the moments that matter most to Black users. Recent activations include a new Black-owned business attribute on Maps, Assistant responses on Black Lives Matter, and new ways marketers can support Black-owned publishers in Display & Video 360—with more to come. We’ve also announced thefirst YouTube Originals to come from our #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, a $100 million global commitment to acquire and produce programming focused on Black experiences and racial justice education, as well as support Black YouTube creators and artists.

Supporting Black+ Googlers throughout their careers

Meaningful, lasting change needs to come from within our own walls. That means looking across the experience of underrepresented Googlers, including Black+, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, and at all of our internal processes, including recruiting, leveling, performance, promotion, talent assessment and retention practices.


We’ve laid some good groundwork here. Since June, we’ve doubled the Retention & Progression team so that each organization has a designated consultant to support underrepresented Googlers, and we plan to triple our investment in this program by 2022. Meanwhile, we continue to roll out more robust checks for fairness and equity in our Perf process, including this cycle. 


We’ve also taken steps to create a deeper sense of belonging for our Black+ community, from offering relevant and useful benefits to fostering supportive internal communities. For example, last month we introduced a student loan repayment program to address the debt that hinders economic progress for many communities of color. We also increased the percentage of Black+ mental health counselors available to Googlers in the U.S. and are partnering with healthcare providers to create new programs for concerns that disproportionately affect our Black+ community, to be in place by 2022. In EMEA, we've launched a new speaker series—RE:EMEA—to localize the conversation on racial equity and increase our understanding of the region’s unique history. And to create community globally, next year we’ll roll out a six-month onboarding program for Black+ Nooglers to help build networks during those first few months at Google.

Attracting new talent and investing in long-term growth of sites 

In June, we committed to improving representation of underrepresented groups at senior levels by 30 percent by 2025. Today, we’re adding a goal to more than double the number of Black+ Googlers at all other levels by 2025. 


We’ll also invest in the long-term growth of U.S. locations that contribute to a high quality of life for Black+ Googlers. Across our sites in Atlanta, Washington D.C., Chicago and New York we’ll aim to add an additional 10,000 Googlers by 2025, including 1,000 new roles by 2021. In global sites, including London, we will continue to focus on recruiting and hiring Black+ Googlers.

Holding ourselves accountable

We’ll hold ourselves accountable for creating an inclusive workplace. As part of our commitment to anti-racism educational programs, we will integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into all of our flagship employee and manager trainings. And moving forward, all VP+ performance reviews will include an evaluation of leadership in support of diversity, equity and inclusion. 


I’ll be sharing progress with Alphabet’s board regularly through transparency reports covering representation, hiring, retention, performance and promotion equity, and we’ll continue to publish our Diversity Annual Report to share this progress with all of you.

Thank you

These efforts represent a significant body of work to address systemic racism and build equity for Black+ Googlers and users for years to come. They would not have happened without the leadership and guidance of hundreds of Googlers, including Melonie and members of our Black Leadership Advisory Group and Black Googler Network—my deepest thanks to all of you. 


The equity we’re working towards internally will help us build better products and continue to support our users, businesses, and communities. This effort is at the heart of our mission to make information accessible to everyone. 


Thanks for the work thus far; we’ll continue to share progress updates.


- Sundar

New awards support future leaders of computing research

From 2018 to 2019, the number of students from underrepresented groups who completed a Ph.D in computer science decreased by 13 percent. Computer science research has broad implications for billions of people—which is why it’s so important that researchers doing this work represent the experiences, perspectives and concerns of people all around the world. So we’re working with the Computing Alliance of Hispanic-Serving Institutions (CAHSI) and the CMD-IT Diversifying Future Leadership in the Professoriate Alliance (FLIP) to increase the diversity of Ph.D graduates in computing.

In 2019, together with Google Research, CAHSI and CMD-IT FLIP established separate competitive dissertation awards programs across their network of institutions. They invited doctoral students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds to apply for the awards to be used for the last year of the completion of the dissertation requirements.

Meet the 11 graduate students who received this award. By pursuing research in computer science and related fields, they’re positively influencing the direction and perspective of technology. Here’s what they’ve shared about themselves, their aspirations and dreams for the future.

Maxeme Tuchman drew from her “past lives” to create Caribu

One of Maxeme Tuchman’s first sentences was “Daddy, that’s a good worker.” As the child of small business owners, she had spent so much time at her parents’ clothing store that she knew to note excellent customer service at her local pizza place. Her business savvy only grew from there; these days, she’s the cofounder of Caribu, an interactive video-calling platform that lets kids have virtual playdates with family and friends where they can read and play games together. 

Google recently sponsored a collection of stories by Pop-Up Magazine to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Maxeme shared a story about her “Jewban” heritage; her grandparents were Holocaust survivors who emigrated to Cuba, and her parents fled Cuba for the United States. “My family is the personification of the American Dream,” she says, “and I feel an incredible burden to pay it forward to them and to this country that has given us so much.” Here’s what she shared with us about fundraising as a Latina, and what she learned from her previous jobs, which ranged from education to politics. 

How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed Caribu’s business?

We grew by ten times over 24 hours in March. For families during the pandemic, their number-one priority was to stay safe, but their number-two priority has been to stay sane. Caribu, fortunately, fits squarely in that second priority and I am truly grateful that we’ve been able to help kids and their families stay connected in a more fun, engaging, and educational way. 

We’re not only helping children have educational playdates with family and friends during the pandemic but also keeping seniors active to avoid loneliness and isolation. So while there's plenty of evidence that excessive use of connected tech can be harmful, it's worth remembering that the same technologies can also improve people's quality of life.

How have Google products helped your app grow?


Today, 30 percent of Caribu's sales come from outside of the U.S.—and that’s in a huge part because of Google Play and Google Ads. Google Ads allow us to pinpoint and expand into new markets and have allowed us to export our product and grow our U.S.-based business. Google Analytics has also been particularly helpful to us, allowing us to optimize our ad performance, observe traffic trends and discover new ways to improve our website. And all our books are stored on Google Cloud, which has allowed us to offer our books for download in a “lite” mode when bandwidth is an issue, which is something that many of our customers struggle with. I also just completed the month-long Google for Startups Sales Academy for Latino founders to learn storytelling techniques and hone our pitch.

You’ve worked across politics, education and business. How have your "past lives" informed your entrepreneurship?  

All the skills I picked up in my past jobs have helped me be an entrepreneur. Every day I have to create something out of nothing, wear multiple hats (and pretend I’m an expert in all of them), manage and recruit teams and then make and raise money. You don’t pick up all of those skills at one company or by staying in one industry. 

My commitment to educational equity began very early on in life, but it really amplified as a Teach For America corps member, teaching 480 high school students in inner-city Miami. That experience led me to work on educational innovation projects with organizations such as the Harlem Children’s Zone, DC Public Schools and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Before co-founding Caribu, I was appointed by President Obama to serve as a senior policy advisor and White House Fellow at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Prior to that, I served as the Executive Director of Teach For America Miami-Dade and was responsible for cultivating over $15 million of private and public support in service of over 500 teachers and alumni. Earlier in my career, I co-created the NYC Civic Corps and managed The NYC Waterfalls art installation, bringing in $69 million of economic impact to the city. 

There is no greater fuel for a Latina than to have someone underestimate her.

You’re the first entrepreneur of Latin American heritage—of any gender—to land $1 million in regulation crowdfunding. This is an impressive figure. What were some of your biggest challenges along the way? 

Raising funds as a Latina is challenging. The odds were not in my favor, and they still aren’t. Over the years, I’ve had plenty of investors advise me to just give up. It was never because they thought it was a bad idea, they just weren't willing to take a risk on someone who didn’t fit their preconceived mold of a successful entrepreneur. But, I never let that stop me. As a Latina, it’s in my DNA to keep fighting for what I believe in. 

There is no greater fuel for a Latina than to have someone underestimate her. Today, my company is thriving. Since inception, we’ve raised over $3 million in funding and have been the winner or finalist in over 30 international and national pitch competitions. It hasn’t been easy, but I’ve had a blast and learned some valuable lessons along the way.

On that topic, why do you think diversity is so important in the business world?


Studies have shown that most Latinos in the U.S. do not feel that they can bring their whole selves to the office. I wasn’t surprised when I heard this. I’ve been told countless times to change my look, fix my body language and adjust my communication style. But I’m a firm believer that when you distance yourself from your culture, you deny your company and clients of your authentic self. And when pitching investors, you want them to buy into who you are and what your vision is.  

Project Euphonia’s new step: 1,000 hours of speech recordings

Muratcan Cicek, a PhD candidate at UC Santa Cruz, worked as a summer intern on Google’s Project Euphonia, which aims to improve computers’ abilities to understand impaired speech. This work was especially relevant and important for Muratcan, who was born with cerebral palsy and has a severe speech impairment.

Before his internship, Muratcan recorded 2,000 phrases for Project Euphonia. These phrases, expressions like “Turn the lights on” and “Turn up thermostat to 74 degrees,” were used to build a personalized speech recognition model that could better recognize the unique sound of his voice and transcribe his speech. The prototype allowed Muratcan to share the transcription in a video call so others could better understand him. He used the prototype to converse with co-workers, give status updates during team meetings and connect with people in ways that were previously impossible. Muratcan says, “Euphonia transformed my communication skills in a way that I can leverage in my career as an engineer without feeling insecure about my condition.”

Muratcan, a Google intern

Muratcan, a summer research intern on the Euphonia team, uses the Euphonia prototype app

1,000 hours of speech samples

The phrases that Muratcan recorded were key to training custom machine learning models that could help him be more easily understood. To help other people that have impaired speech caused by ALS, Parkinson’s disease or Down Syndrome, we need to gather samples of their speech patterns. So we’ve worked with partners like CDSS, ALS TDI, ALSA, LSVT Global, Team Gleason and CureDuchenne to encourage people with speech impairments to record their voices and contribute to this research.

Since 2018, nearly 1,000 participants have recorded over 1,000 hours of speech samples. For many, it’s been a source of pride and purpose to shape the future of speech recognition, not only for themselves but also for others who struggle to be understood.

I contribute to this research so that I can help not only myself, but also a larger group of people with communication challenges that are often left out. Project Euphonia participant

While the technology is still under development, the speech samples we’ve collected helped us create personalized speech recognition models for individuals with speech impairments, like Muratcan. For more technical details about how these models work, see the Euphonia and Parrotron blog posts. We’re evaluating these personalized models with a group of early testers. The next phase of our research aims to improve speech recognition systems for many more people, but it requires many more speech samples from a broad range of speakers.

How you can contribute

To continue our research, we hope to collect speech samples from an additional 5,000 participants. If you have difficulty being understood by others and want to contribute to meaningful research to improve speech recognition technologies, learn more and consider signing up to record phrases. We look forward to hearing from more participants and experts— and together, helping everyone be understood.