Google Employee Raises Eyebrows for Trashing Workplace Diversity Initiatives

Silicon Valley, mired as it is in allegations of blatant gender bias, racial discrimination, and sexual harassment, received another jolt recently, when an unnamed engineer at Google criticized its diversity initiative – something the tech giant has been working on after being criticized for underpaying female staff and being devoid of non-Asian people of color.

Employee Blames Biological Differences for Unequal Representation

The anonymous employee, in a document containing half-baked ideas, said gender gap in software engineering is, to some extent, a result of the inherent biological differences between men and women. The concepts aren’t exactly well-reasoned. He further added that discriminating to up the proportion of women employees in technology domain is equally biased and misguided as mandating increases for women’s representation in work-related and violent deaths, the homeless, school dropouts, and prisons. His moot point was that efforts to boost racial and gender diversity are divisive, unfair, and harmful for business.

Surprisingly Enough, Many Support Him

This bizarre take, needless, to add, was censured by most. However, what is most shocking is that Google’s own diversity officer and some employees reportedly sided with the anonymous engineer. Google employees anonymously upheld the employee’s views on an app called Blind, which is a platform for tech employees to talk about workplace issues. The document was first reported by Motherboard and published in full by Gizmodo went viral in no time.

Currently, about 70% of Google’s employees in the U.S. are male, 57% are white, and most top honchos are male again. Further, while Asian account for one-third of the workforce, others barely register.

Alphabet’s Share Price Tops US$1,000 Mark

Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. reached a new milestone on Monday by touching US$1,000 share price for the first time. The shares of the technology giant closed at US$1,003.88, up by 0.78%, or US$7.76. It can also be said to be a 37.9% rise since August 2015, when Google split off its earlier stage ventures from the core Internet business to become Alphabet Inc. With this achievement, the company joins the list of elite companies, including e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. and Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Industrial experts believe that the rising stock prices are beneficial for companies, however, the high prices may make their affordability difficult for individual investors.

Alphabet Braces Itself to Hedge against Threats to Web Search Business

Alphabet Inc. has been strategically investing money in its businesses to hedge against any threats to its core web search vertical. The company has shown positive growth in cloud computing and artificial intelligence business. Besides this, the organization’s primary ads business is also expanding, dodging any hindrance from the proliferation of mobile devices. Verily, the medical business, closed a US$800 mn outside investment from the Singapore-based company, Temasek. While the company is boosting investments in these businesses, Alphabet has reduced funds for its fiber broadband service.

As per a note from Morgan Stanley last month, Waymo, the self-driving car unit by Alphabet, is in the position to lead the market for autonomous transit. Analysts estimate the unit to have a valuation of around US$70 bn by 2030 – a prospective value that is not included into the current share price of Alphabet Inc.

Can Google’s Revamped Google Earth Fortify its Presence in Tourism?

Google has recently introduced its newest version of Google Earth, a software combining topographic maps, satellite imagery, and 3D cities. The new update for Google Earth will be shortly made available for Android and web, announced Google. The new update will feature Knowledge cards and guided tours, apart from its signature “I’m feeling lucky” button”.

Voyager, a novel route planner that aids in the planning of fastest routes for travelling to multiple locations, is a key feature of the new version. Presently featuring around 50 stories, this showcase of engaging stories is developed in collaboration with some of the most prominent scientists, non-profits, and storytellers.

For instance, Natural Treasures is a tour by BBC Earth that can take us to a number of natural habitats across the globe such as jungles and mountains, where one can experience the wonders of wildlife. Hosting a tour to Gombe National Park in Tanzania, Jane Goodall discusses the conservation efforts and chimpanzee research initiated by her team. Not only Sesame Street, but also NASA has been working on Google Earth.

Travel-related Products by Google might Witness More Demand

Moreover, the ‘I’m feeling lucky” button featuring on Google Earth is not without a purpose. A database containing at least 20,000 different locations across the world which are worth visiting are curated. These can be universally famous tourist attractions or the lesser explored scenic paradises, among several other places. On reaching the desirable spot, the ‘Knowledge Card’ feature gives additional information about that particular place.

Although this feature is fascinating in itself, more importantly, it can instill travel inspiration and help people figure out which place they would like to visit. This might ramp up Google’s position in the travel-related products and services market, where a plethora of solutions such as Google Trips, Google Flights, and Google Destinations are likely to gain popularity.