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Rant Against Diversity By Google Software Engineer Goes Viral, Leads To Dismissal

Rant Against Diversity By Google Software Engineer Goes Viral, Leads To Dismissal

A 10-page rant against Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL)'s moves toward diversity has gone viral at a time when Silicon Valley is under fire for its treatment of women and minorities.

The memo by an unnamed male software engineer at the company, which prompted a pointed rebuke from Google, comes at a time when the search giant is under federal investigation for alleged wage discrimination against women.

The memo, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” argued that women are underrepresented in tech not because of bias, but because of biological and psychological differences of the genders. Excerpts were first published on Motherboard and subsequently posted in full on Gizmodo.

“We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism,” he wrote, arguing that the company’s diversity initiatives were pointless.

Update: Google CEO Sundar Pichai slammed the memo in an email Monday for “advancing harmful gender stereotypes” and said he was cutting short a vacation to meet with staff on Thursday. Bloomberg, citing an email from him, reported that the engineer, James Damore, was fired.

Google Pushes Back

The author of the screed, who works out of the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, said his views are widely reflected among his colleagues.

“I’ve gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues which they agree with but would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired.”

The memo slammed what it said was a left-leaning orientation at the company.

“Considering that the overwhelming majority of the social sciences, media, and Google lean left, we should critically examine these prejudices.”

Google’s new vice president of diversity, integrity and governance, Danielle Brown, issued an internal response obtained by Gizmodo;

“I started just a couple of weeks ago, and I had hoped to take another week or so to get the lay of the land before introducing myself to you all. But given the heated debate we’ve seen over the past few days, I feel compelled to say a few words,” she wrote.

“Many of you have read an internal document shared by someone in our engineering organization, expressing views on the natural abilities and characteristics of different genders, as well as whether one can speak freely of these things at Google. And like many of you, I found that it advanced incorrect assumptions about gender. I’m not going to link to it here as it’s not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages,” she wrote.

Memo Draws More Scrutiny Of Silicon Valley

Several Google employees took to Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR) to denounce the document.

“That garbage fire of a document is trash and you are wonderful coworkers who I am extremely lucky to work with,” wrote Andrew Boneventre.

The culture of Silicon Valley has been under siege for its frat-boy treatment of minorities and, in particular, women. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigned amid charges of sexism ingrained in the corporate culture, particularly after a former Uber engineer revealed instances of sexual harassment.

Related Link: Uber Was Being Run As A “Frat Party,” Former GM Exec Says


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