After resisting previous calls, Google is finally planning to release data on diversity of its workforce. The move comes amid increasing pressure on the technology industry to hire more minorities and women.
The announcement was made yesterday by David Drummond, an African-American executive who oversees Google's public policies, during the company's annual shareholders' meeting at its headquarters in Mountain View.
“Many companies in (Silicon Valley) have been reluctant to divulge that data, including Google, and, quite frankly, we are wrong about that", he said, adding that the information will be released next month.
The decision apparently came after longtime civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who appeared at the annual meeting, praised the search giant for its transparency and urged the company to lead the effort to hire more African-Americans, Latinos and women in technology.
Drummond assured Jackson that Google is committed to getting more minorities and women into top tech jobs. The company currently employs around 50,000 people.
According to the most recent census data, Blacks and Hispanics, which make up 13.1 and 16.9 percent of the US population respectively, constitute around 7 percent of the total tech workforce, both in Silicon Valley and nationally.
On the other hand, while a lot of women work in the tech industry, relatively few are in top positions. Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said the company plans to look for women and minority candidates when there is another opening on its board of directors.
The numbers are compiled as part of a report that major U.S. employers must file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. However, it is not mandatory for employers to make the information publicly available.