Danielle Brown has a big job ahead of her, as the incoming chief of diversity at a major multinational firm with a serious diversity problem.
It’s not as if Google is alone in being a largely white, male Silicon Valley tech company — low numbers of women, blacks and Latinos are a visible hallmark of the region’s technology sector. And Google, by leading the way on reporting its own lack of diversity, has turned the spotlight on itself.
Judging from comments by Google HR head Eileen Naughton, Brown will be applying the skills she honed as an Intel diversity executive to virtually every area of her new firm’s business.
“There are areas for improvement across the board — in terms of our hiring, our promotion and retention, our commitments, our working environment, and how we measure success or failure,” Naughton wrote in a blog post June 29.
“Danielle will look at our efforts in all these areas afresh.”
The company, according to its most recent diversity report, is only 31 percent female, 4 percent Latino and 2 percent black. Whites make up 56 percent of the workforce, Asians 35 percent.
Naughton noted gains at Google in recent years.
“In the past three years, women in tech roles have grown from 17 percent to 20 percent … and women in leadership roles have grown from 21 percent to 25 percent,” Naughton wrote.
Brown achieved some success in building diversity at Intel, before leaving that company earlier in June, according to TechCrunch.
“For the last couple of years, Brown has been at the forefront of Intel’s diversity efforts,” the tech site reported June 29.
“In the last diversity report under Brown’s leadership, Intel reported that it hit its goal of retaining diverse employees,” with women and people of color leaving the company at about the same rate as majority groups.
In 2016, about 14 percent of Intel’s newly hired workers came from underrepresented minority groups, boosting the percentage of people of color in its workforce up a fraction from the middle of the year to the end, according to TechCrunch.
Google’s previous head of diversity, Nancy Lee, left Google earlier this year.
Photo: Technology workers are seen outside a Google office building (Bay Area News Group)
Tags: Danielle Brown, diversity, Eileen Naughton, Google, Intel