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Google diversity report: Modest gains for women and people of color

Google’s diversity report for 2020 reveals modest gains in representation for women and people of color. Even though the company reported the largest increase in hiring of Black+ technical employees that has ever been measured, its workforce remains disproportionately white, Asian and male.

Global hires of female employees decreased from 33.2% in 2018 to 32.5% in 2019, while male hires increased from 66.8% to 67.5%. At the same time, the percentage of women hired for technical positions saw a slight gain from 25.6% to 25.7%.

The percentage of Black hires in the U.S. grew from 4.8% in 2018 to 5.5% in 2019, while the percentage of Black hires in technical roles grew from 2.8% to 3.5%, which is the largest increase since Google started publishing diversity data. Hires of Asian employees also increased from 43.9% to 48.5%. Hires of Latinx employees, on the other hand, decreased from 6.8% in 2018 to 6.6% in 2019.

Women represent 32% of global workforce

Overall, Google’s workforce representation saw a slight increase for most underrepresented groups. According to the available data, women represented 32% of Google’s global workforce, up from 31.6% the previous year, and Black and Latinx employees represented 9.6% of the U.S. workforce, up from 9%.

One area where Google has seen significant progress is in its internship program: Globally, 40% of interns in technical roles were women in 2019 and 24% of U.S. interns were black and Latinx.

“Since we published our first Diversity Annual Report in 2014, the growth of underrepresented communities at Google continues to outpace our overall growth,” Google notes in the report.

women working in office

More women in leadership roles

For the second year in a row, the representation of women in leadership roles globally at Google grew 0.6 percentage points, reaching 26.7%. 

“We offer targeted career development programs, which provide coaching, community-building, mentorship, and advocacy to help women in leadership roles foster relationships with senior leaders and advance their careers,” the company notes in the report.

Representation for Latinx+ Googlers in leadership in the U.S. also increased by 0.4 percentage points in 2019, due in part to programs focused on internal mobility.

11% increase in applications from women

Google also notes that it has reduced bias in job descriptions, as part of its broader effort to pay attention to how the company attracts and assesses talents at every step of the recruitment and hiring process.

Google took a look at historical data from over 6,000 job postings in an 18 month period to analyze word count ranges and language and how this affects applicants. One of the findings was that when a job qualifications summary is more than 54 words, women applicants decrease dramatically. As a result, Google created a tool to help mitigate bias. Now, before a Google job description is posted, they analyze text as well as word count and remove words or phrases that could bias a candidate against applying. 

“Job postings run through our bias removal tool resulted in an 11% increase in applications from women. We expanded a program for employees from underrepresented groups who were considering leaving, with 84% deciding to stay. And, to help ensure a brighter future for our entire industry, we built new pathways to tech for underserved communities across the globe”, Google said.

Geographic and socioeconomic diversity

Regarding geographic and socioeconomic diversity, Google has expanded its recruiting efforts from 75 schools to over 800, continuing to invest in partnerships designed to bring more individuals of color and technical women to the company. In 2019, they hired from 15 Historically Black College & Universities, 39 Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and 9 women’s colleges in the U.S. 

Representation of LGBQ+ and people with disabilities

Google also continues to expand data to reflect Googlers who choose to self-identify as LGBTQ+, as having a disability, or having military experience. This helps paint a more complete picture of our workforce.

Of the 62% of global employees who have self-identified, Google sees that:

7.1% self-identified as LGBQ+ and/or Trans+

6.1% self-identified as having a disability

5.5% self-identified as being or having been members of the military

Melonie Parker, Google’s Chief Diversity Officer says: “Google has made progress in several areas of  hiring and retaining talented professionals from underrepresented groups. We also continued our work to understand the identities, intersectionalities, and experiences of Googlers worldwide. More broadly, we made a wide array of investments to strengthen the diverse communities both within and outside Google.”


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