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Google to evaluate executive performance on diversity, inclusion

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Paresh Dave
·2 min read
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By Paresh Dave

Feb 19 (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google willevaluate the performance of its vice presidents and above onteam diversity and inclusion starting this year, the companysaid on Friday in one of several responses to concerns about itstreatment of a Black scientist.

Timnit Gebru, co-leader of Google's ethical artificialintelligence research team, said in December that Googleabruptly fired her after she criticized its diversity effortsand threatened to resign.

Alphabet and Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai ordered areview of the situation. While Google declined to share specificfindings, the company announced on Friday it will engage humanresources specialists during sensitive employee departures.

Pichai in June said that by 2025, Google aims to have 30%more of its leaders come from underrepresented groups, with afocus on Black, Latinx and Native American leaders in the UnitedStates and female technical leaders globally. About 96% ofGoogle's U.S. leaders at the time were white or Asian, and 73%globally were men.

As a result of the investigation, the company also expandeda commitment announced in June to devote more resources toretaining and promoting existing employees, including byexpanding a team addressing disputes among workers and theirmanagers.

The diversity component of executive performance reviews wasnot previously announced, and the company did not immediatelyshare details about what would be measured and how pay would beaffected.

Alphabet for years had rejected proposals from shareholdersand employees to set diversity goals and tie executive pay tothem.

Irene Knapp, a former Google employee who advocated for onesuch proposal at a 2018 shareholder meeting, said on Friday, "Iam pleased that they met our demand from 2018, which was a bareminimum that should have been easy to do immediately."

Evaluating managers on diversity goals is becoming morecommonplace. McDonald's Corp on Thursday tied executivebonuses to diversity.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)