Karen Hume, Executive Sales Leader, Google Cloud – In conversation with MediaAgility on the importance of Diversity & Inclusion

With Agilites from 4 continents working together to design solutions for global businesses, Diversity and Inclusion are non-negotiable for us. D&I was also one of the many key topics we discussed at Growth 2020, our internal conference. 

This new video series presents the best of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion panel discussion at Growth 2020 where Google Cloud leaders shared their views about the importance of diversity and inclusion.

The second episode in the video series features Karen Hume, Executive Sales Leader at Google Cloud. The following are some excerpts from the panel discussion. (Watch the first episode here)

Question: What is unconscious bias and how to overcome it?

Karen: I just want to build on the thought around the statistics about companies that excel because of the diversity in the company. The only way that works is that when…they bring their unique selves to work. If you have a diverse culture, you have a diverse number of people in the organization, but they don’t feel empowered to share their ideas or they feel like they need to conform to the greater group’s ideas, that is where you lose the benefits of diversity. 

You could have a diverse population in your organization, but we all have unconscious bias. It is a fact. We all have had our own experiences. We have had a different upbringing. There are biases that come along with that. And so really focusing on awareness and understanding what some of those biases are is key to continuing to make all of us more accepting and inclusive of the folks…that have very different opinions, very different backgrounds.

They bring different ideas, different roles, different skills. it is the ability to understand your biases and make sure that that is not influencing things that you are doing as part of your job.

Who are you hiring? Who are you promoting? Who are you putting in your leadership roles? (You are really) Keep(ing) a close eye on, make sure that some of the biases that you have are not influencing those decisions. 

Question: What can we learn from D&I at Google?

Karen: When you walk into a Google office, you feel like you have walked into an extremely diverse population of folks that work in the organization. But that has been a journey for Google. Google was a Silicon Valley startup, and I think all of us have a stereotype in our minds of what startups look like in Silicon Valley. And so as the company has grown to the size that we are, we have been extremely intentional about the things that we do to support diversity, inclusion, and equity across all of our employee-base.

Question: How can we be more inclusive?

Karen: It starts with each and every one of us. This is a personal journey for everybody in the room.

I mean, if you think about today, what an opportunity for people that you don’t know, that you are meeting for the first time to get to know them, to appreciate more about them.

I personally think that it also starts with our youth…creating opportunities for the younger generation. For me personally, that is women in technology and teaching girls at a young age that they too can go into science and technology and engineering opportunities and careers, just like the boys that are sitting in the classrooms next to them. 

We have a real problem with the number of women that are entering the technology workforce because it is just not what they are taught that (this) is something that they can do or are even good at. So being involved with things like mentoring, coding women, girls, and coding that get them started at a young age. 

It really is something that you are passionate about and do something and get involved.

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    Diversity and Inclusion at MediaAgility

    We intentionally, deliberately, and pro-actively choose Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in all that we do. We are committed to removing all unconscious bias in our hiring process, communication, and operations.