Google reveals 2,000-person diversity and inclusion product team


Google has built a 2,000-person strong team of what it calls “Inclusion Champions” over the last three years to help test out prototypes of new devices and services to ensure that everything the company releases, from the latest Pixel phone to the newest Assistant feature, is built from the ground up to address people of all shapes, sizes, and colors.

“No matter where you come from, what you look like, we’re building for billions of users. We’re building for everyone,” Annie Jean Baptiste, Google’s head of product inclusion, told Digital Trends exclusively on Wednesday at CES.

Google's Annie Jean BaptiseAnnie Jean Baptiste, head of product inclusion for Google.Google

Baptiste revealed more about the team in a blog post on Thursday morning, which detailed some of the changes they have made in the past few years to impact products from the tech giant.

“For instance, when the Google Assistant was built, we wanted to make sure that the product didn’t use insensitive language, so we worked closely with Googlers to stress-test the product before it launched, and came up with a list of words to proactively exclude,” she wrote. “As a result, today, less than .0002 percent of the daily queries are marked as offensive.”

While there are only a handful of direct reports on the team, the breadth of the 2,000 or so “product inclusion champions” reflects the support the initiative has within the organization, helping address bias from the start, building more affordable products like the Pixel 3a to help bridge the digital divide, and going into communities to see what all users need. It means strong partnerships with local and underrepresented businesses, along with a supplier diversity program.

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