Representatives from several minority-rights groups gathered at Google's Mountain View campus campus on Feb. 10 to protest what they say is a lack of transparency surrounding the search giant's hiring practices.
The picketers' complaints revolved around two key issues: diversity and the perception among those protesting that Google favors foreign workers over locals.
Leaders and members of the Black Economic Council, the Latino Business Chamber of Greater Los Angeles and the National Asian American Coalition carried signs and took up a bullhorn to demand that Google publicly disclose data about the ethnic makeup of its employees.
According to several protesters, Google hires disproportionate numbers of men compared to women and far more whites and Indians than any other ethnic group. Furthermore, the protesters complained, the company would rather ship workers in from overseas than hire qualified individuals already living in Silicon Valley.
The groups involved in the protest say that diversity is a problem throughout Silicon Valley. Collectively the groups have requested that 34 major companies throughout the Bay Area publicize their EEO-1 Reports. Only 12 companies agreed to do so.
Private businesses with 100 employees or more must file EEO-1 Reports annually with the United States' Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The EEO-1 is used by the commission to determine whether a particular business is in compliance with federal equal employment opportunity laws.
Jorge C. Corralejo, chairman and CEO of the Latino Business Chamber of Greater Los Angeles, said that Google, along with 21 others refused to make their reports public. In the case of Google, Corralejo believes the company is violating its own transparency policies, skirting its legal obligation and flagrantly disregarding its "don't be evil" corporate motto.
Google representative Jordan Newman said the protesters' criticisms were off base.
"Our philosophy has always been that a diversity of perspectives, ideas and cultures means better products for our users," Newman wrote in an official e-mail statement. "That's why we have an inclusive work environment and constantly promote diversity at Google, through scholarship programs, internship opportunities and partnerships with organizations working to educate the next generation of engineers and professionals."
Check back on our website for updates, along with video from the protest, and look for a more in-depth story in next week's paper.