- Google is perceived by 247,000 business and STEM students as the top company for creating an inclusive workplace, Universum announced. The tech giant was followed by Microsoft, and both took top honors with both groups of students.
- The overwhelming majority of students (93%) defined D&I as cultural diversity, more so than ethnicity, gender and age differences. The winning companies, dominated by the tech, fast-moving consumer goods and professional services sectors, were chosen for creating inclusive cultures, being outspoken about having underrepresented minorities and other groups in senior management, and communicating authentic messages around D&I.
- Universum created the index to showcase the "clear discrepancy between what employers are trying to communicate and how students seem to receive the messages and perceive their commitment." Top contenders in the index also have a "clear commitment" from leadership, Universum said.
The index points to the power of branding — an aspect of the business that CHROs have growing influence upon. A report from Page notes that CHROs' influence on organizational branding stems from employees increasingly coming to work with their own stands on societal issues and the growing importance of culture in the hunt for talent.
For example: While students perceive Google as a top player in the D&I space, the company has dealt with a series of public-facing, D&I-related issues in recent months. In late 2018, nearly 17,000 Google employees worldwide staged a walkout because of what they described as the company's mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations, mistreatment of temporary workers and lacking policies on equity and transparency. In April, two Google staffers, Meredith Whittaker and Claire Stapleton, accused the company of retaliation against them for trying to organize workers.
And a Google employee who was out on maternity leave declared in a 2,300-word memo in August 2019 that she would not be returning to work. Her reason, she said, was that after reporting her manager's derogatory remarks about pregnant workers to HR, which promised her protection against retaliation, the manager started sending her angry emails, ignoring her at meetings and shaming her in public. The memo went internally viral, with more than 10,000 Google staffers seeing it.