Action #2 — Retention & Progression
We expanded how we help employees thrive at Google and are seeing promising early signs in inclusion and retention.
The world’s changing attitudes about work gave us an opportunity to turn reflection into action.
Since the start of the global pandemic in 2020, there’s been a collective reassessment of the role that work plays in people’s lives. We’ve taken this moment as an opportunity to reexamine how we support Googlers while they’re here. As everyone navigates changing attitudes towards what it means to build a meaningful career in a sustainable work environment, our dedication to helping our employees succeed is deeper than ever.
Our attrition data
We improve retention by studying attrition rates and designing programs based on that data to help Googlers stay and thrive. In 2021, we improved retention for women globally and Black+ and Latinx+ employees in the U.S. This milestone is a reflection of our commitment across the entire company, from the community support forums developed by the Inclusion Programs team to the signature 1:1 support provided to Googlers by the Stay & Thrive team. We’re heartened by this progress and will continue to grow our efforts to help Googlers feel a deep sense of belonging. For 2021, we changed how we measure attrition to more accurately reflect workforce trends. More details about our methodology can be found in the Data Methodology section of this report. We will use this methodology going forward, however, data from our previous method can be viewed here.
Attrition by race / ethnicity
Attrition by gender
In the workplace
We’ve helped Google leadership understand why people on their teams leave—and why they stay.
We’re continuing to expand how we help all Googlers thrive at work and beyond.
In 2021, our Stay & Thrive team launched a new way to help leaders better understand their team’s attrition data. This new process is more comprehensive and relatable, offering leaders a story with meaningful—and actionable—insights. In addition to providing each team lead with quantitative attrition data, the Stay & Thrive team humanizes the numbers by offering insight on the day-to-day employee experience.
Armed with the why around attrition, leaders are better positioned to implement the Stay & Thrive team’s recommended solutions, such as manager upskilling, more defined progression plans, and greater support for internal mobility.
Also, for the third year, we ran our #ItsUpToMe program—and saw more impact than ever before. #ItsUpToMe is a global program in over 30 offices across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and parts of the Americas that helps leaders, managers, and Googlers become more proactive allies to all types of communities. In 2021, #ItsUpToMe reached over 5,000 people managers. Participants worked closely with our People Operations specialists, DEI experts, and our Employee Resource Group leaders to define specific, meaningful goals—and achieve them. We also launched a digital hub with resources like learning materials, podcasts, and short stories to help all participants become more inclusive leaders.
In the workplace
We created new opportunities for Googlers to mentor one another.
In Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, we relaunched Elevate+, a three-to six-month-long program that offers one-on-one mentorship opportunities and executive coaching to Black employees. The program aims to cultivate a stronger sense of belonging at Google by matching experienced Googlers with mentees looking to grow their leadership skills and advance their careers.
In Canada, we created Momentum, a biannual mentorship program designed to help members of Black Googler Network (BGN) Canada advance their careers. Mentees get matched with mentors, and together, they develop a personalized career development plan to gain leadership skills, get promoted, and build an even stronger support network. During this process, mentees receive coaching, training, and support from their mentors.
In the workplace
We gave parents, especially mothers, more health care resources.
We launched the Maven Maternal Health Program in the U.S. to give expecting mothers and parents at Google more support. The program provides resources that specifically address health issues that disproportionately affect Black families. Through the program, expecting mothers can have access to a customized care team, 24/7 virtual appointments, and 30+ types of doctors, specialists, and coaches. Plus, the program offers newborn support and customized return-to-work counseling. The program also provides mental health support through pregnancy loss, as well as LGBTQ+ inclusive preconception guidance around IVF, IUI, egg freezing, surrogacy, and adoption.
In the workplace
For Asian+ Googlers around the world, we helped create safe spaces and career support.
In the wake of increased violence against Asian communities, we recognized that creating safe spaces for Asian+ Googlers is more critical than ever. Across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, we launched AGN Rise, a month-long program for Asian+ Googlers and allies, led by the Asian Google Network. Rise celebrated the heritage of Asian+ Googlers and championed their stories. It also offered participants an opportunity to develop new skills and network across different regions. And in Australia and New Zealand, we piloted a nine-month professional development program for Asian+ Googlers, where internal facilitators helped participants structure their careers for growth and develop their unique leadership styles.
In the world
Outside of Google, we supported global upskilling and reskilling—helping people keep pace with fast-growing industries.
Consider this: The 2020 Future of Jobs Report estimated that 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025. So in 2021, we opened global enrollment for new Career Certificates in Data Analytics, Project Management, and UX design. We also launched a new Associate Android Developer Certification, to prepare learners for entry level jobs in Android development. With over one million jobs open in these fields right now in the U.S., the opportunity is significant.
In partnership with the Singapore government, we launched Skills Ignition in Singapore, a new program that equips trainees with skills to build a career in an economy that’s becoming increasingly reliant on technology. Ninety percent of the trainees who’ve been through the program so far feel it’s allowed them to gain the right skills to succeed in the digital economy.
In the world
And we continued our work helping Latinx people in the U.S. achieve economic equity.
We’re investing in economic equity for Latinx communities across the U.S.
As part of our larger commitment to racial justice, we made a $15 million investment in economic equity initiatives focused on Latinx people in the U.S. Our goal is to help Latinx entrepreneurs, job seekers, and students have equitable access to funding and support to succeed in today's economy. Achieving this goal strengthens not only Latinx communities, but also the U.S. economy.
So we’re working with the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to create digital resource centers and train over 10,000 Latinx business owners on how to use digital tools to grow their business. And we gave an additional $1 million to the Hispanic Federation with the goal of helping 6,000 Latinx jobseekers build skills in 2021. Plus, we invested $7 million in Latinx startup founders around the world through the Latinx Founders Fund.
For gender equity in tech, we created new resources for skills training, new mentorship programs, and more.
Largely due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw the gender gap widen and become more urgent in 2020.
Part of our response was to launch the Impact Challenge for Women and Girls through Google.org, providing $25 million to organizations around the globe focused on economic empowerment. After receiving nearly 8,000 applications, we selected 34 organizations to receive funding, training, and mentorship support to help women and girls, particularly those in geographically, economically, or socially underserved communities, reach their full economic potential. This initiative also included support for organizations that help trans people build thriving careers in tech and beyond.
Through #IamRemarkable, a Google initiative focused on empowering women and other underrepresented groups, we conducted trainings and workshops to improve the self-promotion and motivation skills of women and underrepresented groups. In 2021, #IamRemarkable reached over 300,000 participants across 170 countries with the help of over 4,000 active facilitators. Plus, over 1,000 external organizations brought #IamRemarkable in-house to train their employees. Half of all participants said #IamRemarkable helped them grow in their jobs and careers.
Supporting Black women in the U.S.
We’ve seen meaningful progress with Black Women Lead, an initiative we launched in 2020 to train 100,000 Black women in digital skills by 2022. To date, we’ve trained more than 200,000 women in the U.S., thanks to partnerships with Dress for Success, The Links Incorporated, and National Pan-Hellenic Council sororities.
The Pratham Education Foundation in India helps rural, unemployed young women learn skills to get job-ready. In 2021, they received support from our Impact Challenge for Women and Girls in 2021.
Expanding our focus in Africa and India.
We also amplified our efforts to support gender equity in Africa, sponsoring the Our Girls, Our Future conference for young women interested in the tech industry. At the conference, we hosted a technical interview workshop, career info sessions, and a fireside chat with an industry leader. Also in Africa, we partnered with the Graca Machel Trust to provide digital skills training for over 5,000 women entrepreneurs.
In India, we delivered our second edition of DigiPivot, an immersive experience that helps women pivot their careers to digital marketing, with the goal of helping them land jobs in tech and at Google. The 2021 cohort saw 39 graduates, with 27% reporting a career pivot—up 7% from 2020. We also piloted our Next Innings program in India, helping a cohort of women return to the workforce after taking a pause.
“‘Breaking the bias’ means going beyond perceived limits, giving everyone the freedom to bring all of who they are to the table in service of their greater self.”
Juliet Ehimuan, Country Director of Nigeria, explains what the theme of International Women’s Day 2022 means to her.