Google Just Took a Big Step to Increase Diversity in Tech

Google Just Took a Big Step to Increase Diversity in Tech

The news: On Saturday, Google announced a $190,000 donation to Black Girls Code, a nonprofit dedicated to providing opportunities for girls of color to learn about technology and programming.

The New York Daily News reports that the money will go to the project's New York City outpost and will help finance the hiring of its first set of full-time employees. Though Black Girls Code has seven divisions across the country and one in Johannesberg, South Africa, the New York office is the fastest growing. 

Google has an interest in promoting causes like this, said William Floyd, its head of external affairs for New York, because it diversifies the hiring pool. 

 This is a much-needed move from Google. The company isn't exactly a leader in diversity. Just 30% of its employees are women, and only 2% are black. "We're not where we want to be when it comes to diversity," it wrote.

It's not alone, either. Fortune looked at the demographics of today's top tech companies, and the numbers were abysmal. Like Google, Twitter and Apple also had 70/30 gender splits; Facebook's numbers were 69/31, while Pinterest was a little better at 60/40. (Pandora led the pack with 51% men and 49% women.)

Ethnic breakdowns were the same story — the best company of the bunch, Apple, still counts over 60% of its workforce as white. 

Google can't wash their hands of the issue, however. This latest step is a good one, but there's always more to be done. $190,000 is a lot of money, and Google is under no obligation to donate, but it's a worldwide leader in tech — if it sets the example, there's a good chance others will follow. 

"Our goal is to change the face of technology by showing the world that girls of color can code and do so much more," said Black Girls Code founder Kimberly Bryant. Google is helping to make this a reality, but it's only the beginning.