In 2021, we reflected—and then we took action.
Throughout 2020, we actively listened to how social and economic inequities and the relentless effects of the global pandemic impacted people at Google and beyond. In 2021, we reflected on what we learned—and took action.
We took a holistic look at who we impact—from our employees to people who use our products to clients—as well as our breadth of resources and tools. And we made a concerted and proactive effort to transform how we fundamentally operate in order to create positive, systemic change—in the workplace and in the world.
Then we got to work. We achieved our best year yet for hiring and retaining people from underrepresented communities and we developed a wide variety of new methods to better support every Googler’s growth. Plus, we continued to invest responsibly in every market we call home, growing how we support community partners around the globe. And we also took action to create a more flexible and accessible work culture. Finally, we expanded our efforts to foster a sense of belonging, not just for employees, but for every community we impact.
We know we still have a long road ahead and we recognize we must meet people where they are in order to build a Google that’s for everyone, everywhere. But we’re energized by the progress we’ve made and the momentum we’ve built.
This report details five key actions we took in 2021—as well as the concrete progress we’ve made in continuing to build a Google that’s inclusive of everyone.
Below are five concrete actions we took in 2021 to create a flexible, inclusive workplace where everyone can feel a sense of belonging.
Diversity, equity, & inclusion timeline
Taking action to build a Google that’s for everyone
A few years after Google’s founding, we began focusing on ways to build diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) into the workplace. Today, we publish one of the largest sets of diversity data in the industry and transparently share our learnings with the world. Our data is global, and we’ve made it available for everyone to use by open sourcing our entire historical data set in BigQuery, the Google Cloud data warehouse. We will continue to transparently share our data and progress, and we encourage all companies to do the same. It’s through collective transparency and action that we can make the largest impact on these deep structural issues.
- First head of diversity is hired.
- First company-wide goal for diversity, equity, and inclusion is set.
- Diversity team expands globally with hiring of leadership in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific (APAC).
- Google publishes our diversity data publically.
- Google.org launches a gender equality portfolio. By 2020, it has dedicated $55 million to create economic empowerment for women and girls.
- Google.org launches a racial justice portfolio. By 2020, it has dedicated $104 million in grants and 25,000 pro bono hours to advancing racial equity.
- Diversity Annual Report expands to include LGBTQ+, people with disabilities, military and veterans, and non-binary Googlers globally.
- Racial equity commitments launch to build sustainable equity for Google’s Black community and make our products and programs helpful to Black users.
- Google invests $50 million in Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the U.S. in order to better address the diversity gap in tech.
In September 2020, we announced more than 50 new workplace commitments, as part of our ongoing work to build a safe and inclusive workplace.
These commitments are grounded in five Guiding Principles: Commitment, Care, Transparency, Fairness & Consistency, and Accountability. These Principles and our workplace enhancements reflect our commitment to providing a working environment that is free of harassment. Each of these principles touches on a number of areas, including severance, work relationships, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and more. As of the first quarter of 2022, these changes have gone into effect, subject to local laws and requirements.
These Principles also support our initiatives to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at Google and Alphabet. Alphabet’s DEI Advisory Council oversees the creation, implementation, and ongoing operation of these initiatives. For its inaugural year, the Council’s members include Sundar Pichai (Alphabet and Google CEO), Kent Walker (President, Global Affairs, Alphabet and Google), Jen Fitzpatrick (SVP, Core Systems and Experiences), Melonie Parker (Chief Diversity Officer), and three external (i.e., non-Alphabet) members–Judge Nancy Gertner (Ret.), Grace Speights, and Fred Alvarez—who bring deep knowledge and experience with implementing best practices addressing diversity, equity, inclusion, and sexual harassment.
In February of 2022, under the DEI Advisory Council’s guidance, we launched our latest workplace commitments, including commitments that emphasize the higher standard to which we hold our senior leaders and people managers. They highlight our belief that leadership is responsible for fostering a respectful and inclusive workplace where Googlers can feel encouraged and supported if they report concerns. Other commitments take a harder line on misconduct to make sure there is clear accountability when it comes to unacceptable behavior, and that any consequences are applied fairly and equitably across the company. For example, we’ve implemented mandatory restrictions on performance ratings, compensation, eligibility for promotion, and severance for people who have engaged in serious misconduct. And we expanded and updated our arbitration policies to waive any obligation to arbitrate individual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation claims across all of Alphabet, including the Bets.
These are just a few examples of the progress we have made under the guidance of the DEI Advisory Council. We look forward to continuing this work in the year ahead and will continue to share these updates going forward.
As we continue to build a more inclusive and representative Google, we’ll hold ourselves accountable in how we work to make our goals a reality.
We want to maintain the momentum for positive, systemic change we’ve built over the last two years. We remain committed to prioritizing inclusivity and equity in everything we do, from hiring to developing talent, to building new products and services, to designing our offices. Plus, we’ll keep expanding our efforts to help every Googler feel a strong sense of belonging at work and in the world. These efforts will be tailored to regions and communities, because we know equity won’t be achieved with a one-size-fits-all approach.
We also remain focused on holding ourselves accountable for results. In addition to this report, we will continue to share regular progress with Alphabet’s board through reports covering fairness in representation, hiring, retention, performance, and promotion.
Looking back at 2021, we’re proud of how we worked to meet people where they are. Our progress has energized our 2022 work—and we hope you’ll follow our journey as we help build a more equitable and inclusive future.
2022 Diversity Annual Report
We’re advancing a diverse, accessible, and inclusive Google where everyone can belong. Learn about our progress.
Download PDF report