Following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, it sparked a rise in corporate DEI programs that claimed to have the mission of supporting Black professionals.
In addition, the outlet details that Google pledged to increase representation of underrepresented groups in leadership roles by 30% by 2025; double the number of Black employees with nonsenior level roles by 2025; provide more access to mental and physical health resources for Black employees; and more.
Now, over three years later, things have dwindled at Google when it comes to DEI initiatives. According to CNBC, the company cut staff and downsized programs that were DEI-focused. Several of the cuts for 2023 included staff in its Early Career Immersion program, which was created to address pay equity in its Engineering Residency program.
For its Apprenticeships program, it’s reported that participants, who are from underrepresented groups, claimed they were paid less than other engineers “despite doing similar work” and lacked growth opportunities.
What’s more, Google cut DEI leaders who worked alongside Chief Diversity Officer Melonie Parker.
While there have been DEI cuts and a wave of allegations, Google has shared a statement doubling down on its commitment announced in 2020.
″Our workforce reductions and company-wide efforts to sharpen our focus span the breadth of our business,” a Google spokesperson said, per the outlet. “To be absolutely clear, our commitment to that work has not changed and we invested in many new programs and partnerships this year.”
Meta is another company that has laid off DEI employees, including DEI managers and leaders in Black employee resource groups.
AFROTECH Senior Vice President Simone White shared with CNBC that she believes the DEI staff layoffs and programs downsizing at tech companies in 2023 could potentially impact the future of retaining underrepresented talent.
“Younger generations increasingly care who has a seat at the table,” White said. “And they’re going to remember who did what they said they were going to do.”