Google parent faces backlash over rejecting diversity plan

Shareholders at Alphabet quashed an initiative to tie executive pay to inclusion metrics. Critics say the company has failed to address cultural rifts and foster a welcoming environment.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

Google still has questions to answer about inclusion and workplace equality.

An employee and investor initiative to promote greater diversity at Google was voted down at the latest shareholder meeting of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. The request would have tied executive compensation to diversity benchmarks.

In a statement read to the board, software engineer Irene Knapp pitched the change. She said, in part:

Diversity and inclusion are key components of business sustainability and success. McKinsey & Company research shows that companies in the top quartiles for gender and racial/ethnic diversity were more likely to have above average financial returns.

Yet, at Alphabet, diversity and inclusion activities by individual contributors and managers alike — including mentorship, outreach, and community building — have been met with a disorganized array of responses, including formal reprimand. The lack of clear, communicated policies and actions to advance diversity and inclusion, with concrete accountability and leadership from senior executives, has left many of us feeling unsafe and unable to do our work.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.