Google fires software engineer who wrote sexist memo on diversity

Google fires software engineer who wrote sexist memo on diversity

Google fires software engineer who wrote sexist memo on diversity

Sundar Pichai told employees in a note that portions of the anti-diversity memo "violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace".

"The past few days have been very hard for many at the company, and we need to find a way to debate issues on which we might disagree", he wrote. These personality differences apparently include women focusing more on feelings and aesthetics than ideas, women preferring social and artistic jobs as opposed to "man" things like coding, women not being able to be assertive and not being able to negotiate salaries, and higher levels of anxiety. The memo went viral after being leaked to the press on August 5.

Damore's memo created a firestorm of controversy that likely won't end with his firing.

Damore confirmed to Bloomberg on Monday that he had been fired for writing the manifesto for "perpetuating gender stereotypes", and said he is "currently exploring all possible legal remedies". While there are 20 percent women in tech in Google in 2017 as compared to a mere 17 percent in 2014, only one in four women hold leadership roles.

However, Pichai defended the author's right to criticize Google training, workplace ideology, and whether programs promoting workplace diversity are adequately open to all.

Pichai also said in his email that there are Google employees who are questioning whether they can safely express their opinions, especially ones that might fall into a minority.

Danielle Brown, Google's new vice president for diversity, integrity and governance, sent a statement to staff condemning Damore's views and reaffirmed the company's stance on diversity.

In blog on the site Medium, former Google engineer Erica Baker said she was "disappointed but unsurprised".

The author argues that the internet company should stop leaning on its "left bias" to encourage a healthy work environment for female engineers, slamming it as "politically correct monoculture".

The incident comes at a time when the US Department of Labour is already investigating Google for its lack of diversity, with 69 per cent of the workforce and 80 per cent of the technical staff being male, according to Google's own figures.

Brown wrote that we remain unequivocal in the belief diversity and inclusion remains critical to the company's success, and we will continue standing for that, and have a commitment to it over the long haul.

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