Google: Diversity is not the tricky bit, inclusivity is

Google says diversity is still a long way from being solved within the business community, partly because it is seen as “a trend” along with other areas such as mindfulness.

Too many companies are focusing on “filling quotas” to address diversity rather than doing the “trickier job” of changing culture to promote inclusivity, according to Google.

Speaking at the Diversity in Marketing and Advertising Summit this morning (4 April), of which Marketing Week is a media partner, Google’s chair of women and head of ads marketing, Nishma Robb, said companies are making changes, but at a very slow pace.

“I sometimes think the evolution of man happened faster than gender equality. Why are we moving at the pace we are? Is it because diversity is seen as a trend alongside mindfulness? We are still a long way off having it resolved,” she said.

Despite this, she believes diversity is not the “tricky bit”, as companies can always “fill quotas”. In reality, inclusivity is the real challenge because it requires a wider change in culture.

“Personally, I don’t see responsibility just in the workplace, but [with] everyone. We’re still stuck on gender diversity, so can we please have a conversation more broadly around other issues like LGBT and disability,” she added.

Robb rounded off her address by stating it should be the industry’s number one priority to get more senior leaders of different ethnic backgrounds speaking up, and that it is now time “to be more pointed”.

She concluded: “This is not a time for us to talk about it and raise awareness, it’s time to be a bit more pointed and call out [the companies] that aren’t doing it.”

Diversity and Inclusion Champion is one of the categories at this year’s Marketing Week Masters of Marketing awards, taking place on 3 October. Entries are now open. To find out more visit