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Google under fire for treatment of black female employees – Reuters

Google is under investigation for mistreating its black female employees, according to members of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DEFH). The agency reportedly received formal complaints about harassment.

Lawyers and analysts hailing from the California DEFH have interviewed a number of black female Google employees regarding their work experiences, according to documents and sources cited by Reuters in a report published on Friday. The interviews were allegedly conducted in the wake of multiple incidents of harassment and discrimination.

Google racism claims

While there have been no mentions of charges being filed against Google, the rumors themselves have highlighted growing unease at the firm, where just 1.8% of the workforce is black and female, according to a ‘diversity report’ released earlier this year. The company supposedly has “room for improvement” regarding holding onto “underrepresented talent,” according to the report. Meanwhile, seven black female employees told Reuters they had been marginalized and not taken seriously due to their racial, ethnic or gender backgrounds.

Google was sued earlier this year by four female employees who claimed to have received lower bonuses and salaries than their male colleagues. The DEFH has also filed lawsuits against fellow tech firms Riot Games (a subsidiary of Tencent Holdings) and Activision Blizzard, in both cases alleging extensive discrimination and harassment.

AI ethicist Timnit Gebru was allegedly fired by Google last year for asking the company to be more transparent with the process by which it published papers, claiming the tech giant had retaliated against her for her work criticizing language models. Her firing appeared to have triggered a sort of domino effect in which another female AI team worker claimed she was fired after merely searching her email for “evidence” of discrimination against Gebru, and workers identifying as “Black+ female” left the company at the highest rate of any demographic in the company last year other than “Native American+ female.”

Google has responded to the claims by insisting that it is focused on “building sustainable equity” and saying it has hired its largest number of “Black+” employees yet, with the firm defining “Black+” as inclusive of “people belonging to multiple races.”

Image Credit: The Pancake of Heaven! – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

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Source:RT News

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