Google CEO Sundar Pichai appealed to diversity in technology Friday, reassuring an audience that Google is committed to offering opportunities for all, according to a report from The Verge.
"I want you to know there’s a place for you in this industry," Pichai said, speaking at an event geared toward young women who code. "There’s a place for you at Google. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You belong here, and we need you."
The event took place after Pichai cancelled a companywide meeting, which was intended to address the recent viral memo from James Damore, a former engineer at Google, who criticized the company's diversity initiatives. Pichai cancelled the meeting because several employees who had sent initial questions were harassed online, according to Recode.
The Google PR fallout continues, and it has the company's CEO working hard to make things right. Google and other tech companies are working hard to show their efforts in creating more diverse workforces.
Despite the fact that tech companies have reportedly spent nearly $1.2 billion on diversity-focused recruiting programs over the last five years, the tech industry remains far behind the overall U.S. workforce when it comes to diversity. Numbers released earlier this year by OpenMIC found that blacks and Latinos make up just 5.3% of the workforce at the average technology company.
Many believe diverse teams are more successful and can help companies develop better products. Others say diversity and inclusion efforts are critical to retaining workers and solving the current IT labor shortage. A McKinsey Global Institute report recently estimated that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 just by eliminating gender bias.