Google last week published its annual diversity report for 2018 that covered new hires across tech and leadership positions, as well as employee attrition rates. It emerged today that diversity head Danielle Brown has left Google.

Brown was hired in June 2017 from Intel to be vice president of Employee Engagement and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. She led human resources at Google, and was responsible for leading:

Equity, diversity and inclusion strategy & efforts, the compliance, integrity and governance function for People Operations, driving large scale employee engagement and culture programs, and running our Employee Relations function.

She joined the company amid a controversial document from a Googler that criticized equality efforts. That employee was fired, with Google responding by noting that “Diversity & inclusion are critical to our success.” Brown today revealed her new role as Chief People Officer at Gusto, a payroll and healthcare software provider.

Google’s VP of People Operations Eileen Naughton issued a comment on Brown’s departure today. Meanwhile, Melonie Parker, the former Head of Diversity, is now the Chief Diversity Officer.

“We’re grateful to Danielle for her excellent work over the past two years to improve representation in Google’s workforce and ensure an inclusive culture for everyone.  We wish her all the best in her new role at Gusto. We’re fortunate to have a deep bench of experienced leaders and are delighted that Melonie Parker, who has been our Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, will step up to become Google’s Chief Diversity Officer and Director, Employee Engagement.  Melonie has 20 years of HR experience, and a passion for improving workforce representation and inclusion. We’re deeply committed to this work and have made progress, but there’s more we need to do.”

She frankly stated in a past report that Google was not meeting diversity and inclusion goals despite “significant effort.”

In her second and last report this year, Google noted hiring gains for women, Black+ and Latinx+ groups. Globally for 2018, the company is 33.2% women (versus 31.3%) and 66.8% men to 68.7% in 2017.

On the attrition front, women are still less likely to leave Google, while rates for Latinx+ and Black+ “improved but remained above average,” with the latter group still having the highest rate.

One effort introduced by Brown was including senior leadership in diversity and inclusion initiatives. This year, Google is sharing hiring, progression, and retention trends with the entire leadership team instead of just upper management. Added data this year includes employees that identify as LGBTQ+ and have a disability.

In 2018 we began to include hiring and attrition data, in addition to U.S. intersectional representation data (cut by categories combining race and gender). This year we are expanding our intersectional view to include hiring and attrition data.


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