- Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google (their phrase for HR), answered questions from KQED News listeners about Google’s diversity problem, unionization, and how tech companies can better treat their service personnel.
- Bock directly addresses a disconnect between benefits offered salaried employees and the workers who provide the beloved workplace services, such as catered lunches and private shuttles – a growing ethical concern in Silicon Valley.
- Shuttle drivers at other tech companies, including Yahoo, Apple and eBay, have already voted to unionize, for example.
According to KQED, Google requires its vendors at its Bay Area campuses to pay $15 an hour to its employees and asks they provide benefits similar to what Google strives to provide. They also have upped their recruitment at historically black colleges throughout the U.S. and stepped in to help refine computer science curriculum and provide mentorship to students.
Accountability is the new key word in Silicon Valley, where many of its high-profile companies are receiving attention for their ethical successes…and failures. Bock said part of the reason Google released their demographic data in 2014—revealing that the company was 70 percent male and 60 percent white – was so the public could hold them accountable to fix those numbers. So far, that tactic seems to have worked in their favor.