Google has a knack for attracting unwanted attention regarding diversity and discrimination concerns. Yet despite its struggles, the company remains the most trusted source in online search.
In April 2017, The Guardian released a report detailing the extreme gender pay gap allegations at Google by the US Department of Labor. Agency officials stated that they found compensation disparities against women across the company’s entire workforce. While the tech giant repeatedly denied these accusations, the firm refused to hand over data concerning the job and salary history of Google employees.
Last June, when the tech giant revealed its annual diversity report, CNN reported that Google was still dominated by white male employees. According to CNN, 69% of the company’s workforce was male with 56% identifying as white. Hispanic and black employees made up four percent and five percent of the company, respectively. In terms of female employees, only 25% filled leadership roles with another 20% comprising technical positions.
Data surrounding the issue of workplace inclusion was only one of the many problems faced by Google. In addition to pay, and workforce percentage, a growing divisive culture led Google employees to complain about discrimination from both sides of the isle.
Supplierty News recently discussed James Damore and his lawsuit against Google, claiming that his former company was biased against Caucasian men and those with conservative political views. He said that these people were singled out, mistreated, and terminated from the company in violation of their legal rights.
Another former employee named Cory Altheide revealed that the company’s higher ups pressured him to stop initiating pro-diversity discussions. Altheide told Gizmodo that he often opened up talks on how to improve diversity when he still worked at Google. But in his memo, Altheide mentioned that the senior vice president told him these pro-diversity topics fail to support a wide variety of viewpoints.
Being a huge company that more or less monopolized internet searching, it’s not entirely surprising to find that Google has long been attacked from all directions. Whether those allegations are true or not, there’s no denying how Google search has become part of everyday life. People use it for news, answers to inquiries, and online shopping, among other purposes. As proof of end-user dependence, Ayima revealed the most Googled-searched terms in 2017, like Hurricane Irma, iPhone products, and Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s fiancée.
In retrospect, even if these results are user-based, Google has the capability to decide which results will be prioritized. That’s why the concept of ‘search engine optimization’ was born and studied by experts. With that much power, it’s inevitable for the tech giant to encounter issues against them.
Most of all, Google – along with another tech giant, Facebook – have been gobbling up the majority of internet advertising money, prompting several media outlets to adopt a direct subscription model instead. While many other companies are adjusting to a world with Google search, a select few aim to expose the company’s dark secrets. Who knows what other claims will emerge?