Why Three Women Quit Their Jobs At Google Due To Racism And Sexism
Year after year, Google is ranked as one of the best places to work. And often times, the tech company actually tops the lists of the best companies.
But according to a group of women, including three who recently quit their jobs at the Internet giant, the company has a problem with racism and sexism. While this is not a total surprise, given that Google is predominantly white and male, at 56 percent and 69 percent respectively — only 2% of employees are Black — it seems to contradict its “best place” to work status.
“There’s the fallout of a former engineer’s 10-page anti-diversity manifesto, the threat of a class-action lawsuit by 60 women alleging workplace sexism, and a Department of Labor investigation alleging “extreme” pay discrimination based on gender,” reported Glamour.
The Guardian unleashed an in depth report Friday in which they interviewed a former technical specialist named Qichen Zhang; a Black female former specialist who spoke anonymously; and a former engineer named Lashmi Parthasarathy who shared their experiences of racial and gender discrimination at Google.
The Black specialist told the Guardian that “she was frequently asked for her ID on campus when coworkers weren’t; that she overheard racist jokes; and that she was negatively judged for trying to be an advocate for people of color, despite Google’s official interest in the positive PR that diversity initiatives bring to the company,” reported Glamour.
“They didn’t like the way you’re prioritizing diversity, because that’s not your role,” she said she was told when she began advocating for people of color. She quit her job for the sake of her mental health, adding that “there were times I cried at my desk.”
Zhang echoed that same sentiment, telling the Guardian, “I didn’t see a lot of women, especially Asian women, Black women or other women of color in the executive ranks. I didn’t see any opportunities for myself … The culture there is really discouraging, and that’s ultimately why I left.”
Earlier this year, the US Department of Labor alleged women across the company are paid less than men for similar work, which is a violation of federal law. Though Google has denied that allegation, these anecdotes certainly don’t help their case.
“It’s just these little daily aggressions that really add up over time,” Zhang said.“Having a lack of people who look like you in general is demoralizing.”
When provided a summary of the claims these three women have lodged against Google, the company’s Director of Global Diversity, Yolanda Mangolini, a Black woman, said “I’m always disappointed when I hear these stories.” She then suggested employees take advantage of Google’s “employee resource groups” to feel more included in the workplace.