Our commitments to racial equity
Our concrete commitments to build sustainable equity for Google’s Black community and make our products and programs helpful in the moments that matter most to Black usersSee our latest progress
Building sustainable equity in our workplace
Creating meaningful change starts within our own company. Strengthening our commitment to racial equity and inclusion will help Google build more helpful products for our users and the world. To that end, we’re announcing several commitments to build sustainable equity for our Black+ community.
2020 was our largest year ever for hiring Black+ Googlers in the U.S. — both overall, and in tech roles. We’re on track to meet our goals to improve leadership representation of underrepresented groups by 30 percent by 2025 and more than double the number of Black Googlers at all other levels by 2025.
We're also investing in growing Atlanta, Chicago, New York and DC — locations that we’ve heard from our Black+ Googlers contribute to a high quality of life. In 2021 so far, we've grown these sites by more than 650 employees. We’re on track to meet our goals of 1,000 in 2021 and 10,000 by the end of 2025.
We’re establishing a new talent liaison within each product and functional area to mentor and advocate for the progression and retention of Googlers from underrepresented groups. We’re also convening a task force, including senior members of the Black+ community at Google, to develop concrete recommendations and proposals for accountability across all of the areas that affect the Black+ Googler experience, from recruiting and hiring, to performance management, to career progression and retention.
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.
We continue to invest in programming that helps Googlers grow and thrive at Google. This month we launched a new onboarding pilot, which offers tailored content to support Black employees as they begin their Google career. We plan to roll the program out globally by the end of the year.
Our internal research shows that feelings of belonging are driven by many aspects of our experiences at work, including the psychological safety we feel among our teams, the support of our managers and leaders, equitable people processes, and opportunities to grow and develop our careers. Across all of these dimensions, we’re committed to building more inclusive practices and policies—and revisiting them when we don’t get them right.
As one example, we’ve had a security practice of Googlers watching for “tailgaters” in order to reduce instances of unauthorized visitors in offices. We have realized this process is susceptible to bias. So, over the past year, our Global Security and Resilience team partnering with a cross-functional working group, conducted extensive research, listened to Black Googlers’ experiences, and developed and tested new security procedures to ensure we could maintain the safety and security of the Google community without relying on this type of enforcement. Now, as we prepare to return to the office, we will end the practice of Googlers badge-checking each other and rely on our already robust security infrastructure.
Working in close consultation with our Black employees, last year we introduced a student loan repayment program to help Googlers build more financial stability over the long term, since we know that student loan debt disproportionately affects women and communities of color. To date, we’ve paid out $3 million in student loan repayment matches.
And 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.
We’ll be welcoming external experts into Google to share their expertise on racial history and structural inequities, and start conversations on education, allyship, and self-reflection. We’ve begun piloting a new, multi-series training for Googlers of all levels that explores systemic racism and racial consciousness, to help develop stronger awareness and capacity for creating spaces where everyone feels they belong. We plan to roll out this training globally by early 2021. We’ll also 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.
We’ve worked with our mental health provider in the U.S., to increase their Black network of counselors from 6.6 percent to 9.8 percent and are partnering with healthcare providers to create new programs for concerns that disproportionately affect our Black+ community, to be in place by 2022. Our global EAP providers are also working to further diversify their network of counselors. Our Benefits team is working with the Equity Project Management Office and Black Leadership Advisory Group to identify areas where we could expand our benefits or provide additional support to Googlers and their families. As one example of the kinds of programs that work: we've made the medical second opinion service available to Googlers’ extended family—something that our Black+ community told us was important to supporting a family structure that includes siblings, parents, parents-in-law, and grandparents.
We rely on thousands of suppliers to help us run our business—from marketing agencies and construction to food and professional services. 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.
We’ll hold ourselves accountable for creating an inclusive workplace. Moving forward, we’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.
Building products for change
Over the last year we've launched a number of important features including a 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.
Another example is our recent efforts to build a more equitable camera, where we partnered with 17 professional image makers to make changes to our computational photo algorithms to address long-standing issues with how digital cameras represent Black people in photos. This includes auto balance adjustments to bring out natural brown tones and prevent over-brightening and desaturation of darker skin tones. We’re working to bring these changes to Google Pixel later this year.
And we’ve now made our inclusive marketing toolkit available to all marketers. This toolkit has helped us make improvements to how the Black community is represented in our work, and we’re excited to share what we’ve learned with the industry.
In addition, our Trust and Safety team will work to strengthen our product policies against hate and harassment.
Helping create economic opportunity
- Met our $50 million commitment to Opportunity Finance Network to support Black-owned businesses through the Grow with Google Small Business Fund.
- Invested over $60 million of our $100 million in funding participation in Black-led capital firms, startups, and organizations supporting Black entrepreneurs, including increased investments in Plexo Capital and non-dilutive funding to Black founders in the Google for Startups network.
- $15 million in training, through partners like the National Urban League, to help Black jobseekers grow their skills.
- $10 million+ to help improve the Black community’s access to education, equipment, and economic opportunities in our developer ecosystem, and increase equity, representation, and inclusion across our developer platforms, including Android, Chrome, Flutter, Firebase, Google Play, and more.
To continue the work, we recently launched a second $5 million Google for Startups Black Founders Fund in the U.S. and announced the 30 founders who would be receiving up to $100,000 in non-dilutive funding from Google for Startup’s $2 million Europe focused fund.
Mentorship is also critical to growing networks and successful businesses. We launched our Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders, a three-month digital accelerator program for high potential Seed to Series A startups, and have selected 76 founders to receive funding.
We’ve announced an expansion of our Digital Coaches program to 8 new cities, including Memphis, Birmingham, and Cleveland, to provide 50K Black-owned businesses in the U.S. with the mentorship, networking, and training they need to grow.
We also support Black media and creators. For example, in 2020, we advertised across more than 60 Black-owned media properties as part of our U.S. media spend and will increase our spend on Black-owned media by 4X this year. Here’s a sample of some other initiatives from the last year:
The Google News Initiative (GNI) launched the Ad Transformation Lab: a multi-month program to help Black and Latino news publishers in the U.S. and Canada advance their advertising strategies and grow digital revenue, in partnership with Dr. Benjamin Chavis Jr., President and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) as well as the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) and the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP). Learning from the success stories of the Ad Transformation Lab, we’ll continue to collaborate with AAN, NAHP and NNPA to launch new business-oriented Labs in coming months.
In May 2021, we created the Google News Initiative Student Fellowship program to help develop and support diverse, up-and-coming news and media talent that are interested in careers at the intersection of technology, media and journalism.
Last October, we announced the $100 million #YouTubeBlackVoices Fund, which has provided funding, training and support from YouTube to help 132 creators and artists from around the world to help grow their audience and build thriving businesses. Applications for the Class of 2022 are open as of June 21, 2021.
We’re proud to partner with Historically Black Colleges and Universities to broaden access to higher education and opportunities in tech. To that end, we’re announcing a new $50 million unrestricted grant to 10 HBCUs that will help them support scholarships, invest in technology for classrooms, and develop curriculum and career readiness. Each institution will receive a one-time unrestricted financial grant of $5 million, providing institutions with the flexibility to invest in their communities and the future workforce as they see fit.
This commitment builds on our Pathways to Tech initiative, which is designed to build equity for HBCU computing education, help job seekers find tech roles, and ensure that Black employees have growth opportunities and feel included at work.
We’re continuing to expand our CS First curriculum to 7,000 more teachers who reach 100,000+ Black students, scaling our Applied Digital Skills program to reach 400,000 Black middle and high school students, and making a $1 million Google.org grant to the DonorsChoose #ISeeMe campaign, to help teachers access materials to make their classrooms more inclusive.
Beyond the classroom, we’ll grant 50 universities an exploreCSR awards award for the 2020-2021 academic year to help attract and retain underrepresented students in computer science, and we’re also supporting Black in AI with $250,000 to help increase Black representation in the field of AI.
These efforts build on our other education initiatives, including CodeNext, focused on cultivating the next generation of Black and Latinx tech leaders, and TechExchange, which partners with historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic-serving Institutions (HSIs) to bring students to Google’s campus for four months to learn about topics from product management to machine learning.
In addition, we also launched 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.
Supporting racial justice organizations
We announced the next round of grants—at $1 million each—to the Leadership Conference Education Fund, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s Policing Reform Campaign and the Movement for Black Lives. We’ve also embedded a team of engineers, as part of our Google.org Fellowship program, in the Center for Policing Equity to help expand its National Justice Database. You can learn more about organizations fighting against racism and inequality here.
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.
Donate now and join in the fight
Building on $32 million in donations towards criminal justice reform over the past five years, Google.org is committing an additional $12 million in grants to advance racial justice. In addition to grants, Google.org will be providing pro bono technical support to organizations through the Google.org Fellowship program.