What does Google’s workplace diversity report mean for the rest of us?

Google has reported its workforce comprises 30 percent women and 70 percent men. Of those employees, only 2 percent are black, 3 percent Hispanic, 4 percent multiracial, 30 percent Asian and 61 percent white.

Google’s transparency into its lack of diversity drew attention from across corporate America. According to its website, Google is establishing programs to increase minorities in the computer science industry, in addition to announcing it’s not where it wants to be in terms of an inclusive workplace.

Create brand loyalty

Many companies, including Urban Lending Solutions, have found that enacting and maintaining a strong supplier diversity strategy is important. Utilizing local and diverse suppliers, as well as promoting diversity efforts, helps to create brand loyalty between the company and its increasingly diverse customer base.

Why is that? When a company supports diversity and communicates it, it establishes common ground with the minority population. These companies understand their responsibility to drive value and economic development.

Promote job creation

At ULS, we focus on growing small woman- and minority-owned businesses by connecting them to supplier diversity opportunities. I believe supplier diversity is the key to economic growth.

Contracting with Minority Business Enterprises and Women Business Enterprises has a “multiplier effect” that increases spending and consumption and promotes job creation on a local level. (ULS also is an MBE, distinguishing itself as the nation’s largest minority-owned mortgage solutions business and a top job creator.)

In short, thriving minority-owned businesses are able to hire more people, create diverse workplaces and, in turn, give communities an economic boost.

Show commitment

Diversity is ingrained in ULS’s culture and brand, regularly communicated to employees and clients through internal and multifaceted training initiatives, and by external marketing.
ULS has learned that when employees, no matter their stature or tenure, are educated on the values and advantages of a culture that promotes diversity, they help create a climate that supports procurement accordingly.

Tactics for developing this culture include:

  • Creating a mission statement and/or value proposition that is incorporated in internal training and external marketing strategies.
  • Educating employees by requiring a diversity course.
  • Launching a new-hire orientation program that’s enthusiastic about diversity and presents its advantages in an easily understood, inviting manner.
  • Establishing diversity goals and requirements, while measuring progress quarterly.

I find my support for supplier diversity permeates the rest of the business. Large tech companies, like Google, are demonstrating their intent to improve diversity. Google’s website states, “that it is hard to address these kinds of challenges if you’re not prepared to discuss them openly, and with the facts.”

What Google is doing may be hard, but it’s the right thing to do — and it makes business and community sense. Diversity is a movement, not just a program.
It’s time for all companies to build and/or expand their own supplier diversity programs. After all, it’s never too late to take a progressive business approach.