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Improving racial diversity, equity, and inclusion at X
June 17, 2020

Improving racial diversity, equity, and inclusion at X

I sent this note to Xers today and am publishing it here to share our commitment to improving racial diversity, equity and inclusion at X.

Written by Astro Teller, Captain of Moonshots at X

Hi Xers,

You may have seen Sundar’s blog earlier today about a range of commitments Google is making to improve racial equity within Google and beyond. I’m really heartened to see these commitments and wanted to take a moment to share how we’re working to take similar steps forward here at X.

Two weeks ago, I committed to not going back to “normal”. Since then I’ve spent a lot of time with members of the Diaspora* community and many other Xers to explore how we can improve racial diversity, equity and inclusion and apply X’s strengths to the broader problem of racial injustice.

Rachel Williams will be sharing our overall EID plan at an All-Hands presentation in a few weeks’ time. She and Gina Rudan, along with the Culture Lab, have been developing an equity, inclusion, and diversity plan for X with an 18-month and 5-year vision. In July you’ll hear our new goals, which will include a focus on improving Black+ representation at senior levels and across X more broadly. While some of these commitments will be aligned with what Google is doing, we need to have specific solutions for X based on our unique mission, strategy and resources. I’d like to thank Gina for spearheading this initiative, and I’m pleased to share that Rachel will now be leading these efforts as she transitions from People Operations to be Head of EID, reporting to our COO Tom Tweddell.

We know that having diverse voices and perspectives is how we get to the best ideas and best outcomes, but we have too few Black people at X and I should have focused on this far more. So, in addition to hiring more Xers from the Black community and other communities of color, we’ll also be working to ensure that they can thrive at X by building on inclusion programs and initiatives like the SHIFT mentor program.

At X, we’re building the businesses of the future. That means our choices and behaviors have the potential to have an outsized impact. I want all of us to have a deep and shared understanding of systemic racism and to commit to building organizations that contribute to ending the centuries-long human rights crisis of racial injustice. This needs to be in the DNA of every Xer and X graduate, and we’ll be investing in an intensive anti-racism education program to help us.

Lastly, I’d like to reiterate the commitment I made in my earlier note to exploring moonshot technologies that could help address massive social problems, including racial injustice. The job Alphabet has given us is to create large, sustainable businesses based on breakthrough technologies that have a lasting positive impact on the world. Technology can be a powerful lever for change, as long as we work in partnership with communities who know the depths and dimensions of these issues and where the most promising opportunities are. The leaders of Early Pipeline** and I are excited to get going, starting with some of your ideas from the 100 moonshot ideas for racial justice spreadsheet and ideally pushing into even more audacious possibilities, and we’ll be working in close consultation with external experts.

In our 10-year vision we set out to be “the best, most technically cutting-edge, most diverse, equitable, inclusive workplace” and I’m more determined than ever to make this a reality.


* Diaspora is a group of Black+ Xers, Waymonauts, Loonies, Winglets and Allies working to increase Black representation and empowering Black professionals at Alphabet to thrive

** Early Pipeline refers to the early stage teams at X

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