YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki didn’t exactly give her future bosses a deal when they rented out her garage back in 1998. The exec revealed at the DreamForce conference on Thursday that she charged Larry Page and Sergey Brin a steep-sounding $1,700 per month for the space in Menlo Park, Calif., where they officially incorporated their company, Google.
Considering the search giant is now valued at $367 billion, according to Forbes, it was a small price to pay for the pair of computer science nerds.
Wojcicki went on to become Google’s 18th employee, rising to svp of advertising and commerce before taking on the top job at YouTube. According to Business Insider, she said she even took a security deposit from the then-Stanford students. “[Rent] is even more expensive now, but it was expensive back then,” she acknowledged.
Pivoting to a more serious topic, Wojcicki addressed persistent criticism about Google’s lack of diversity. According to an internal report, only 2 percent of its workforce is black and 3 percent Latino. Thirty percent of the company is female, a figure that Wojcicki is actively trying to change. “I’m looking for them,” she said of women. “We’re hiring.”
Wojcicki joined Google while she was pregnant and so became the first employee there to have a baby. Since then she has become an outspoken advocate for longer terms of paid maternity leave. Wojcicki has said that since Google began giving women 18 weeks of paid maternity leave, the rate of new mothers leaving the company has dropped 50 percent.
“You’re more ready to return to work when your kids are older, they’re sleeping better, they’re getting closer to eating real food,” she said at DreamForce. “The really sad thing is a lot of women have to go back because they don’t want to lose their jobs or they want to have income.”