Generation google (270016)

Tech companies have long faced criticism for their lack of diversity, but Google is making a concerted effort to bring more people of color into the field.  According to Xconomy, now might be a good time for engineers seeking work in the tech field. The website reported that Bay Area tech companies have recently shown a 3.5 percent increase in hiring.

According to Jenn Kaiser, who works in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for Google, the company is upfront about its diversity efforts.

“This is the fifth consecutive year of Google sharing workforce data and was our most transparent to date,” said Kaiser. “We publish this data because we want to inspire others to do so and we want to see where we do well and find ways to improve — not just now but in the future.”

Kaiser said the company has taken an integrated approach to improving diversity.

“To improve representation, we are equally focused on hiring, development, progression, retention and culture – they are all important parts of the equation, and part of a holistic and interconnected system.  It’s not enough to focus on hiring alone — and it’s not enough to fill our talent pipeline only at the lower levels of our organization,” she said.

And the company is showing signs of growth in this area. According to data from Google, black representation has jumped from 1.5 percent to 2 percent and Latino representation jumped from 1.7 percent to 1.8 percent. In addition, about 30 percent of Google global hires are women and 5.4 percent of their leadership hires are black.

But Google is not just hiring new black employees, they are also looking at training the next generation of black techies.

The company has a program called Google in Residence which embeds Google engineers at historic black colleges and universities (HBCUs.)

Kaiser said Google collaboration at the college level is growing in other areas.

“We’re making good progress with college hiring programs; expanding our successful Howard West program to include more HBCUs and Hispanic-serving institutions; this fall we plan to welcome a bigger cohort of scholars and faculty to Google’s campus for a full academic year program,” she added.

The company also has several initiatives to train more people how to code.

“Our ‘CS First’ program is designed to help anyone—a teacher, a coach, or volunteer—teach kids the basics of coding. And since research tells us that to inspire more girls, we need to show them that computer science isn’t just for boys, we started ‘Made with Code’—and we’re working with the entertainment industry to change the perceptions around CS and what it means to be a computer scientist,” said Kaiser.