It’s no secret that women and people of color continue to face barriers in the tech industry. Alphabet Inc – better known as Google – has recently drawn scrutiny for alleged mistreatment of Black women employees.
According to a recent Reuters report, the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) – the state-level civil rights agency responsible for investigating potential discrimination in the workplace – is conducting a probe into the tech giant. The agency has been conducting interviews with female Black employees, several of whom have filed formal complaints with the agency. The details remain unclear, but more information will likely unfold in the coming months.
A History Of Unequal Treatment
The probe isn’t the first time Google has come under fire for discriminatory practices. In late 2020, a Black woman scientist in the company’s artificial intelligence division was allegedly fired after raising concerns about diversity. One of the company’s former diversity leaders, also a Black woman, resigned last year, commenting that Black women were undervalued at the company. And the tech giant remains embroiled in a class action lawsuit brought by more than 10,000 female Google employees who claim they received unequal pay compared to their male counterparts.
Gender And Racial Inequality Is Widespread In The Tech Industry
Google isn’t the only company in the tech industry confronting allegations of employment discrimination. Other companies have faced similar scrutiny for unfair treatment of women and people of color:
- In the electric vehicle sector, Tesla was recently on the hook for egregious racial discrimination and harassment against a Black contractor. Rivian, an up-and-coming competitor of Tesla, also allegedly perpetuates a discriminatory culture that marginalizes women at all levels.
- Facebook’s advertising algorithm has been shown to perpetuate gender inequality.
- In the gaming industry, Riot Games recently settled a class action lawsuit, agreeing to pay more than $100 million to female employees for discrimination, harassment and unequal pay. Another gaming giant, Activision Blizzard, is facing a lawsuit by the DFEH for similar issues.
The thread that ties these cases together is the courage of marginalized employees in speaking up for their rights and taking action to hold these powerful companies accountable.