According to a report from Business Insider, Google cut diversity programs, drastically. Fears of conservative backlash have been mentioned. This information comes from the company's current and former employees, according to the source.
Google allegedly cut several diversity programs since 2018
Since 2018, a number of such programs have been scaled back. A program that aimed at teaching employees about implicit bias and how to have difficult conversations about race and inequality.
Teams that were responsible for such programs grew smaller over the last two years. That happened due to outsourcing, and Google's decision not to refill positions after employees left.
One such program, that was mentioned as an example, is the 'Sojourn' initiative. An employee who mentioned that the program said that Google did not want to invite lawsuits by right-wing white employees.
The company denies such claims, explains the situation
Now, Google spokesperson reached out to Business Insider, and decided to dispute such claims. The spokesperson claims that suggestions regarding scaling back its diversity efforts are false.
The spokesperson claims that diversity, equity, and inclusion remains a "company-wide commitment". If programs have been scaled back to a degree, that has been done to match the pace of Google's growth, it is noted.
Google actually got sued by its former engineer and an author of the controversial anti-diversity memo. He sued the company in 2018, but the lawsuit has been dropped earlier this week.
Now, getting back to the Sojourn program. Google claims that it cut it mainly because it was focused on racism in the US, which makes it difficult to scale globally. As a side note, the vast majority of Google's employees are based in the US, 10,000 of them.
Google is no stranger to such problems. Back in November 2018, 17,000 of its employees staged a walkout in protest of the company's handling of sexual misconduct investigations.
The company's chief diversity officer actually left the company back in April 2019. That departure happened after a number of controversies that affected the company.
Google already addressed these reports via a spokesperson, as already mentioned. It does seem like such controversies are constantly popping up around the company, though.
At least some of them have merit, at the very least, but it's not surprising that it is happening. Google is at the center of attention, pretty much always, due to its position in the industry, so it has to be extra careful when major decisions are in play.