Diversity & Inclusion
DEI / Education / Hiring / Workplace culture

A former Google diversity recruiter says a manager characterized her Baltimore accent as a disability

In a Twitter thread, April Christina Curley detailed her experiences with discrimination at the tech company.

Google. Photo by GuillermoJM

In tweets alleging discriminatory practices at Google, a former diversity recruiter said a manager at the search giant characterized her Baltimore accent as a disability.

In a Twitter thread on Monday that was flagged by Business Insider, April Christina Curley, a Black queer woman, detailed her experiences while working with the company as a recruiter focused on increasing the hiring of students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in engineering roles. Curley, who has a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, was hired in 2014.

She said she was fired in September of 2020, after facing a pattern on harassment in response to her advocacy for Black and Brown students to be considered for roles within the company.


Curley said a manager at one point told her that her heavy Baltimore accent was a disability, which should be disclosed prior to meetings.


Google did not respond to a request for comment.

This is the second time in recent weeks that a Black woman was fired by Google after speaking out against discrimination, and advocating for Black and Brown voices. Dr. Timnit Gebru, a co-leader of the company’s ethical AI research team, claimed she was fired because of internal emails she sent about diversity at Google. In the wake of her firing, which Google claims was a resignation, a petition circulated by Google staffers and academics from called into question the integrity of research by staff at Google, Microsoft, Apple and researchers across the world.

In a world where Google and Microsoft self-reported to Wired that the number of Black and Latinx technical employees rose by less than a percentage point at both companies since 2014, stories like these explain that it’s not just a pipeline issue but a culture issue at these companies that keep Black and Brown people from succeeding in tech.

Donte Kirby is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
Companies: Google

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