Our commitments to racial equity

Google’s response

Our concrete commitments to build sustainable equity for Google’s Black community and make our products and programmes helpful in the moments that matter most to Black users

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Our commitments

Building sustainable equity in our workplace

Creating meaningful change starts within our own company. Strengthening our commitment to racial equality 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 equality for our Black+ community.

Working to improve Black+ representation at senior levels and committing to a goal to improve leadership representation of under-represented groups by 30% by 2025

2020 was our largest year ever for hiring Black+ Googlers in the US – both overall, and in tech roles. We’re on track to meet our goals to improve leadership representation of under-represented groups by 30 per cent 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.

Doing more to address representation challenges and focusing on hiring, retention and promotion at all levels

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 under-represented 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. This will include from recruiting and hiring to performance management, career progression and retention.

We’ve doubled the retention and progression team so that each organisation has a designated consultant to support under-represented Googlers, and we plan to triple our investment in this programme 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 programme out globally by the end of the year.

Working to create a stronger sense of inclusion and belonging for Googlers in general and our Black+ community in particular

Our internal research shows that feelings of belonging are driven by many aspects of our experiences at work, including the psychological safety that 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 unauthorised visitors in offices. We have realised that 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 that 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 programme to help Googlers build more financial stability over the long term, since we know that student loan debt disproportionately affects women and communities of colour. To date, we’ve paid out £2.2 million in student loan repayment matches.

And in EMEA, we've launched a new speaker series — RE:EMEA — to localise the conversation on racial equity and increase our understanding of the region’s unique history.

Establishing a range of anti-racism educational programmes that are global in view and are able to scale to all Googlers

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 that 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 training. And moving forwards, all VP+ performance reviews will include an evaluation of leadership in support of diversity, equity and inclusion.

To better support the mental and physical health and wellbeing of our Black+ community

We’ve worked with our mental health provider in the US to increase their Black network of counsellors from 6.6 per cent to 9.8 per cent, and are partnering with healthcare providers to create new programmes 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 counsellors. 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 programmes 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.

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. We are setting a goal to spend £75 million with Black-owned businesses, as part of our broader commitment to spend a minimum of £750 million with diverse-owned suppliers in the US every year, starting from 2021. This commitment will bring more business to a diverse set of suppliers, and more importantly, create sustained economic impact for these communities.

Holding ourselves accountable

We’ll hold ourselves accountable for creating an inclusive workplace. In the future, 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.

Helping create economic opportunity

Beyond our products, we know that racial equality is inextricably linked to economic opportunity. Over the past year, we’ve committed more than £230 million to organisations working to address racial inequities. This includes grants to racial and social justice organisations, and support for job-skilling initiatives, small business and start-ups. Here are some examples of what we’ve done so far:

  • Met our £36 million commitment to Opportunity Finance Network to support Black-owned businesses through the Grow with Google Small Business Fund.
  • Invested over £44 million of our £72.5 million in funding participation in Black-led capital firms, start-ups and organisations supporting Black entrepreneurs, including increased investments in Plexo Capital and non-dilutive funding to Black founders in the Google for Startups network.
  • £11 million in training, through partners like the National Urban League, to help Black jobseekers grow their skills.
  • £7.25 million+ to help improve the Black community’s access to education, equipment and economic opportunities in our developer ecosystem, and increase equality, 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 £3.5 million Google for Startups Black Founders Fund in the US and announced the 30 founders who would be receiving up to £72,500 in non-dilutive funding from Google for Startup’s £1.5 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 programme for high-potential Seed to Series A start-ups, and have selected 76 founders to receive funding.

We’ve announced an expansion of our Digital Coaches programme to eight new cities, including Memphis, Birmingham and Cleveland, to provide 50,000 Black-owned businesses in the US with the mentorship, networking and training that 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 US media spend and will increase our spend on Black-owned media by four times 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 programme to help Black and Latino news publishers in the US 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 programme 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 £72.5 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 21 June 2021.

Improving education

We announced a new £36 million grant to help close the racial equity gaps in computer science education and increase Black+ representation in STEM fields. This starts with making sure that Black students have access to opportunities early on in their education.

We’re proud to partner with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to broaden access to higher education and opportunities in tech. To that end, we’re announcing a new £36 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-off unrestricted financial grant of £3.6 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 programme to reach 400,000 Black middle- and high-school students, and making a £725,000 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 £180,000 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 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 Programme, in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, to help equip HBCU students with digital skills.

Supporting racial justice organisations

We continue to support organisations working to advance criminal justice reform. Building on £23 million in donations towards criminal justice reform over the past five years, Google.org is committing an additional £8.5 million in grants to advance racial justice, and £18 million in Google Ad Grants to racial justice organisations.

We announced the next round of grants – at £725,000 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 programme, in the Centre for Policing Equity to help expand its National Justice Database. You can learn more about organisations fighting against racism and inequality here.

Globally, Google.org has committed £725,000 to support local organisations in Brazil, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa. Today, we’re committing another £1.1 million to support racial justice organisations and empower Black communities across Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on entrepreneurs and job-skilling for Black young people.

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    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 organisations through the Google.org Fellowship programme.

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