Google CEO Set To Meet With HBCU Leaders Following Allegations of Racism
Posted By: Kennedy Williams on January 20, 2021 |
Google CEO Sundar Pichai plans to meet virtually with leaders from HBCUs across the country following the tweets from former Google employee, April Curley, alleging that she witnessed and experienced racism and sexism while working for the big tech company. In her allegations, the former diversity recruiter claimed that students who attended or graduated from HBCUs faced demeaning interview questions and “insulting feedback” solely from being a product of a historically Black college. She also claimed that she was terminated from her position because the “higher-ups” were tired of her calling out the racism. In an immediate response to the allegations, a Google spokesperson said, "We don't agree with the way April describes her departure, but it's not appropriate for us to provide a commentary about her claims."
The purpose of the meeting, scheduled to take place next week, will be to discuss the relationship between HBCUs and Google. The allegations of racism, paired with the low number of Black employees are proving to be quite damning for the big tech company. According to the company’s 2020 annual diversity report, only 3.7% of Google’s employees are Black. With statistics like that, it is hard not to believe that there may have been some truth in Curley’s story.
Several HBCU leaders have spoken with CNN Business to not only discuss how they felt about the allegations against Google but also on how they plan to move forward with their relationship with the company.
Florida A&M University President Larry Robinson said, “We were not willing to stand by on this issue and let it go. When our students have the opportunity to go into the world of work and the world of work has an opportunity to work with our talented students, it's important they are provided an environment that is appreciative and respects who they are, their talent. It's not going to be sustainable otherwise."
President of Howard University, Wayne A.I. Frederick also expressed his concerns with CNN Business, saying, “We obviously have a relationship with Google that we want to make sure is the right kind of relationship and the right environment.”
The virtual meeting was arranged by the president and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Harry Williams, and will include at least five HBCU presidents from schools like Howard, Prairie View A&M, Morgan State, and NCAT, and FAMU.
Determined to clear its name before the meeting, Google also spoke with CNN Business and said, “We are dedicated to hiring and retaining Black+ and other underrepresented talent at Google, and we're committed to strengthening our partnerships with HBCUs.”
We look forward to hearing what progress has been made following next week’s meeting and we will continue to watch and see how Google plans to make things right.
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