In the tech community, there has been much talk about diversity in the workplace. A survey looking at Google diversity employment stated the company has majority male employees, either white or Asian. Within Google, there have been efforts to enhance the diversity from some corners and efforts to stop the hiring of a diverse workforce.
How it started at Google
This discussion came up in the past when an employee, James Damore, wrote a memo against Google diversity in the workplace and filed a lawsuit claiming that Google discriminated against conservative white males. On the flipside, Google is facing an opposing lawsuit alleging the company is diverse enough in their hiring. For Google, this puts them in a desperate situation – They either have to become more diverse or less diverse, either way, they cannot please everyone in the end.
“My impression is that Google is not sure what to do,” said Michelle Miller, a co-executive director at Coworker.org, a workers’ rights organization that has been working with some Google employees. “It prevents the ability of a company to function when one group of workers is obstinately focused on defeating their co-workers with whatever it takes.”
Google diversity workplace
How to create a diverse workplace is an issue for a lot of tech companies, not just Google. The users of tech devices and platforms are a wide variety of people, not only one segment of society. So, having diverse voices helping to create the hardware and software is something that can broaden the appeal of tech products.
For example something like facial recognition works better with a diverse group working on the project. Or something like facial recognition software being able to recognize white male faces better than other faces shows that it is likely that the engineers were designing the software for themselves, not giving a thought to others who are different.
Apple’s Chinese customer was unable to use the facial recognition system on the iPhone X as it was not designed to do this. When such a significant and vital market is unthought of and ignored like this, it is not a good thing for any tech company. Having diversity in the workplace could have meant someone is speaking up or finding out in testing a feature does not work as intended.
What Google decide to do will determine how the public views them. Whatever they choose, they will be upsetting a significant section of society. The benefits of diversity are likely to outweigh any positives from continuing with the status quo.