Thirty percent of Google’s 46,170 employees worldwide are women, the company said, and 17 percent of its technical employees are women. Comparatively, 47 percent of the total work force in the United States is women and 20 percent of software developers are women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Of its United States employees, 61 percent are white, 2 percent are black and 3 percent are Hispanic. About one-third are Asian — well above the national average — and 4 percent are of two or more races. Of Google’s technical staff, 60 percent are white, 1 percent are black, 2 percent are Hispanic, 34 percent are Asian and 3 percent are of two or more races.
Non-Hispanic whites are 61 percent of the Google work force, slightly below the national average. (That average, according to 2006-10 numbers, is 67 percent.) Google is thus less white than the typical American company.
White men are 42 percent of the Google work force, and 35 percent of the U.S. work force — not a vast disparity
Asians are being treated like whites for purposes of race preferences, with some institutions deliberately setting lower standards (or creating a “plus factor,” which is the same thing) for black and Hispanic applicants than for Asian and white applicants — instead, people sometimes actually call Asians white.
Calling Asians white also creates new lines, possibly very dangerous ones. “White” has stopped meaning Caucasian, imprecise as this term has always been, and has started to mean “those racial groups that have made it.” “Minority” has started to mean “those racial groups that have not yet made it.” (A recent San Francisco Chronicle story even excludes non-Mexican-American Latinos from the “minority” category.) This new division is as likely as the old to create nasty, corrosive, sometimes fatal battles over which racial groups get the spoils. So long as we think in terms of “white” and “minority,” we risk disaster, no matter which races are put in which box.
Google can only accomplish [matching the US workforce demographics] that by firing well over three-quarters of its Asian employees, and replacing them with blacks and Hispanics (and a few whites, to bring white numbers up from 61 percent to 67 percent).
Of course, it would be appalling for Google to fire Asians in order to have some sort of demographic match-up with the country, or even stop hiring Asians or hire fewer Asians for that reason. I think it would be equally appalling for it to fire, stop hiring, or hire fewer whites as well. My point is simply that, if one thinks that the problem is lack of “reflecti[on of] the demographics of the country,” “white[s]” aren’t the problem.
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