Google, SHRM Foundation partner to improve diversity at US tech firms

Dive Brief:

  • Google and the Society for Human Resource Management Foundation will partner to connect diverse job seekers in tech to positions at major U.S. companies, according to a Dec. 2 announcement. The partnership will prioritize untapped talent pools and equip HR professionals “with programs that create economic opportunity, promote inclusive hiring practices, and provide essential digital skills training.”
  • The partnership will promote Google’s career certificates, the organizations said, which will offer job seekers a chance to learn skills that fuel careers in fields such as IT support, user experience design and data analytics. The partnership will also connect job seekers to a hiring consortium of employers, including Walmart, Hulu and T-Mobile. 
  • “All at once, our approach tackles two of the greatest challenges confronting the world of work: Racial inequity and the skills gap,” said Wendi Safstrom, executive director of SHRM Foundation.

Dive Insight:

As employers attempt to make their workplaces more diverse and inclusive, the skills gap demands attention. It’s a particularly significant problem at tech companies, which have struggled both to employ a diverse slate of workers and treat them well, historically.

Companies like Pinterest, Twitter and Uber have outlined goals to improve the makeup of their companies. At the beginning of this year, Pinterest divulged in its diversity report that, while its engineering staff had grown more diverse, its leadership team lagged behind. The company’s leaders were 75% male and 64% white; the percentages of Black and Latinx leaders were 1% and 2%, respectively.

Such aspirations necessitate skilled, diverse tech talent, but leaders say the market is lean, even during the pandemic. Many tech firms, such as Google, have attempted to create the workers they need by offering free courses, credentialing programs and work opportunities. Microsoft and its LinkedIn unit similarly launched a global skills initiative in July to equip job seekers with skills for in-demand roles.

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