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Diversity Issues Take Centre Stage at Google Shareholders’ Meet

Google CEO Sundar Pichai eventually fired the author of the 3,000-word memo James Damore - a move that attracted criticism from conservatives

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Google Chrome. Pixabay

Issues regarding representation and treatment of marginalised communities took the centre stage at Google’s parent company Alphabet’s annual shareholders meeting, the media reported.

Even Google employees themselves stepped up on Wednesday to challenge management on diversity issues — a rarity for a company’s rank and file in such a public and formal corporate setting, CNET reported.

Google last year was rocked by the now infamous “Damore memo”, which argued that the gender gap in the tech industry is due mainly to “biological” differences between men and women, not because of sexism.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Wikimedia Commons)

Google CEO Sundar Pichai eventually fired the author of the 3,000-word memo James Damore – a move that attracted criticism from conservatives.

On Wednesday, Irene Knapp, a Google engineer, teamed up with Zevin Asset Management to present a proposal that advocated tying executive pay with improvement in diversity metrics at Alphabet.

Also Read: Google’s Experimental AI-powered Terrarium can Simulate Real-World Weather

“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,” Knapp was quoted as saying.

Like many other tech giants, Alphabet has been criticised for not having enough diversity on its board, said the CNET report, adding that of the 11 board members at the company, only two are women. (IANS)

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Tech Giant Google Introduces Online Coding Course to Train Workers

At the time, Pichai also mentioned that Google's program for certifying IT professionals will expand to 100 US community colleges by the end of 2020

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

The US-based tech Google has introduced a new “Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate” a program that is designed to provide job-ready skills in Python, Git and IT automation in under six months.

“Python is now the most in-demand programming language, and more than 530,000 U.S. jobs, including 75,000 entry-level jobs require Python proficiency. With this new certificate, you can learn Python, Git and IT automation within six months,” Natalie Van Kleef Conley Product Lead, Grow with Google, said in a statement on Thursday.

The program includes a final project where learners will use their new skills to solve a problem they might encounter on the job, like building a web service using automation.

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FILE – The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

“To ensure learners from underserved backgrounds have access to both IT Professional Certificates, Google.org will fund 2,500 need-based scholarships through nonprofits like Goodwill, Merit America, Per Scholas and Upwardly Global. Along with top employers like Walmart, Hulu and Sprint, Google considers program completers when hiring for IT roles,” Conley added.

Also Read: Gandhi’s Teachings Still Relevant, Says Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

Back in October last year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and White House advisor Ivanka Trump announced a program to provide 250,000 Americans training opportunities to teach technology skills.

At the time, Pichai also mentioned that Google’s program for certifying IT professionals will expand to 100 US community colleges by the end of 2020. (IANS)