Google Says NO to Minority Business - Blocks Release of Diversity Data

Apr 10, 2013, 15:27 ET from Minority Business RoundTable

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 

-- Fails to respond or acknowledge supplier diversity-conceals data

-- Claims diversity data is a trade secret and defies federal compliance

-- MBRT calls for investigation into mandatory compliance regulations

-- Urges Google's officers and directors to appoint VP for Supplier and Workforce Diversity

-- Calls for accountability and transparency same as other major corporations

"We know of no major corporation who has failed to respond or acknowledge supplier diversity," said Ted Hsu, Co-Chair of the New England Minority Business Task Force. "We were told by a NYC Google executive that business opportunities are there, but we cannot participate. Sounds like evil, cloud based colonialism to me."

A recent CNN Money Report finds Google and other tech companies are trying to conceal workforce and supplier diversity data as they continue to stonewall questions and defy federal law and regulators five years after the San Jose Mercury News kicked off a quest to find out the racial makeup of the workforce at the country's most important Silicon Valley technology firms. The law states that every U.S. company with more than 100 employees is required to file an annual report called the EEO-1 which categorizes U.S. workers by their race and sex. Google has more than 30,000 employees and revenues over $50 billion. Google also has federal contracts and must comply with federal regulations. CNN through its investigation filed a FOIA request to gain access to that report from the Department of Labor. However, Google claimed its (diversity data) was a trade secret, refused to answer CNN and minority leaders as to why their unwillingness to comply, and furthermore, Google asked the Labor Department to block disclosure.

"It's absolutely preposterous," said John Sims, a FOIA expert and law professor at the University of the Pacific. "Knowing how many white male sales workers a company has is a trade secret? Absurd."

"For the tech industry to remain silent about diversity is so not aligned with what they preach," said Aditi Mohapatra, associate tech director at BSR, which consults with companies on social issues.

In a series of press releases dated August 24, 2011 and June 11, 2012 MBRT called for rigorous investigation and scrutiny of Google's lack of good corporate governance in terms of workforce and supplier diversity. Also in a letter dated September 19, 2011 to Eric Schmidt and the founders of Google, MBRT offered recommendations and assistance with corrective actions supporting supplier and workforce diversity that were ignored. "Google's lack of transparency and openness, shear defiance and blatant refusal to share required workforce and supplier diversity data is the epitome of Too Big to Fail only with a tech twist – Too Big to Follow Federal Compliance," said Roger A. Campos President & CEO.

SOURCE Minority Business RoundTable