The internet giant is also promising $3 million to address gaps in computer science and STEM education. It’s widening an awards program to 16 more universities to tackle gaps in computer science research, and bolstering representation in AI with $250,000 toward Black in AI.
Representation within Google will matter as well. It’s aiming to increase Black representation at senior levels by opening senior positions to outside candidates and investing in cities like Atlanta, Chicago and London. It’s aiming for underrepresented groups to make up 30 percent of leadership by 2025. Google is setting up a talent liaison to mentor and advocate staff from underrepresented groups regardless of level, and will launch a task force to generate “concrete” solutions for accountability in areas like hiring, performance management and retention. That group should have its first proposals in 90 days, Pichai said.
There will also be anti-racism and health programs, as well as broader attempts to boost inclusion and belonging.
The efforts could go some distance toward improving Black access to Google and the tech industry, and appears to do more than provide lip service to racial equity. With that said, Google has struggled to improve its diversity in the past — money and programs can help, but they’re no guarantee that Google’s cultural demographics will change.