Building and Sustaining Ethnically, Racially, and Gender Diverse Software Engineering Teams: A Study at Google

Ella Dagan
Anita Sarma
Alison Chang
Jill Dicker
Emerson Murphy-Hill
The ACM Joint European Software Engineering Conference and Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE)(2023) (to appear)


Teams that build software are largely demographically homogeneous. Without diversity, homogeneous perspectives dominate how, why, and for whom software is designed. To understand how teams can successfully build and sustain diversity, we interviewed 11 engineers and 9 managers from some of the most gender and racially diverse teams at Google, a large software company. Qualitatively analyzing the interviews, we found shared approaches to recruiting, hiring, and promoting an inclusive environment, all of which create a positive feedback loop. Our findings produce actionable practices that every member of the team can take to increase diversity by fostering a more inclusive software engineering environment.