\u201cA diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, decisions, and outcomes for everyone,\u201d is the quote from CEO Sundar Pichai that is prominently displayed at the top of Google\u2019s diversity page. The page also has sections outlining the company\u2019s diversity initiatives as they apply to hiring, recruiting, inclusion, education and community efforts. Cool. That all sounds lovely.\nThe contrast between these \u201cbumper sticker values\u201d or values that \u201clook good in an annual report [or on a diversity website] but have no real meaning within the company,\u201d as Steven L. Blue, president and CEO of Miller Ingenuity and author of\u00a0American Manufacturing 2.0: What Went Wrong and How to Make It Right, calls them, and what seems to be actually going on inside Google, is striking \u2014 but not surprising.\nThe New York Times reported earlier this month on an employee-led effort that started in 2015 to record salary disparities between women and men at the company. That didn\u2019t go well.\nAccording to the article, \u201cFemale employees are paid less than male staff members at most job levels within Google, and the pay disparity extends as women climb the corporate ladder, according to data compiled by employees that provide a snapshot of salary information at the internet giant.\n\u201cA spreadsheet obtained by The New York Times contains salary and bonus information for 2017 that was shared by about 1,200 United States Google employees, or about 2 percent of the company\u2019s global work force.\u201d\n\u201cAt five of the six job levels, women are paid less than men. At level three, the entry level for technical positions, women make 4 percent less than men at $124,000 in salary and bonus. But it widens to 6 percent by the time employees reach midcareer status, around level five, with women earning, on average, $11,000 less than men.\u201d\nGoogle\u2019s explanation for salary spreadsheet data \u2014 I\u2019m not buying it\nGoogle attempts to explain this by claiming the spreadsheet\u2019s data may not be accurate because employees might have made errors when they reported their salary.\n\u201cThe salary information in the spreadsheet cannot be viewed as an exact portrait of what people make at the company, because some employees may have erred when they put in their information. At some job levels, only a handful of employees volunteered to share their salary information, so a few salaries can skew the data. Even though it\u2019s not a random sample of staff members, the information is tracked closely throughout the company,\u201d the Times article reported.\nReally? That\u2019s your position? A company that constantly touts its workforce as being the best of the best and is notorious for its exacting hiring standards \u2014 and the argument is that their employees are too dumb to remember how much they make and\/or enter it into a spreadsheet correctly?\nGoogle also argues that the leaked spreadsheet \u201cdoes not take into account a number of factors, like where employees are based, whether they are in higher-paying technical positions, and job performance,\u201d the Times reported.\nFair point, except Google is being sued by the U.S. Department of Labor, which \u201cfound systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce,\u201d according to Labor Department Regional Director Janette Wipper in a hearing. Three female former employees concur, alleging the company shunts women into lower-paid roles with little room for promotion, pay raises and advancement.\nCulture of sexism and racism\nAnd, of course, there\u2019s the \u2018man\u2019ifesto. I really don\u2019t want to give James Damore any more print space than he\u2019s already been gifted, so I\u2019ll just say this: Good for Google for firing him. But what about his many supporters who still work there? What about the culture of sexism that contributed to that kind of thinking?\nI\u2019m apparently not alone in wondering about this \u2014 the Times article quotes James Finberg, a civil rights lawyer and partner at Altshuler Berzon L.L.P., as saying, \u201cIt is an atmosphere filled with stereotypes, that the comments espoused in the memo were not isolated incidents. They are more of the norm than the anomaly.\u201d\nAnd we can\u2019t forget about the racism! There\u2019s yet another lawsuit, this one alleging racial discrimination at Google. My God, what an incredible place to work. I can\u2019t imagine why they seem to have problems \u201cmoving the needle\u201d on diversity and inclusion issues.\nThe point I\u2019m taking forever to make is that you can pay lip service to diversity and inclusion issues all you want. It might fool a few people, and it might burnish your image to an extent. But you can\u2019t just talk the talk while ignoring the reality.\nThis is why it\u2019s so important for diversity and inclusion to be a part of every single aspect of your organization. Every single person you hire must understand the importance and be willing to make the effort; that is, if you haven\u2019t already baked it in from the start. That\u2019s a whole other post.\nOtherwise, you risk ending up like Google. And that\u2019s not necessarily a good thing right now.