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Google fires employee over controversial diversity memo

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2017 | Blog, Employment Law


Are women underrepresented in the tech industry because of a lack of interest – or because they are not biologically predisposed to have an interest in technical and engineering careers?

One former employee believes it is the latter – and he published a memo criticizing the company for creating a “politically correct monoculture”. He believed that Google was prioritizing diversity inclusion efforts in the workplace instead of the business.

The employee, James Damore, was a computer engineer at Google. He is a former chess champion, and studied at Harvard. He worked as a research scientist at MIT, Harvard, and Princeton.

He published a 10-page manifesto, “How bias clouds our thinking about diversity and inclusion“, stating that biological differences between men and women explain the lopsided numbers of male versus female employees in the tech industry. He also criticized Google for discouraging conservatively political employees from expressing their viewpoint.

In the memo, he stated “The distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes, and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership.” The memo was widely circulated online, drawing praise and criticism from diverse audiences.

Google criticized the memo, stating that it advanced harmful gender stereotypes.

Google’s new head of diversity, Danielle Brown, responded with a memo stating that Google is “unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success.”

An anonymous Google employee, who was interviewed by Breitbart, expressed that Google seems more interested in promoting diversity in the workplace than leading the tech industry. “The diversity gospel has been woven into nearly everything the company does, to the point where senior leaders focus on diversity first and technology second.”

After the memo was published, Google fired Damore. He is considering pursuing legal action against the company. Some legal observers believe that Google may have broken employment laws by firing Damore. Google is claiming that parts of the manifesto violated Google’s code of conduct.

Google is also currently facing a Department of Labor lawsuit alleging pay gaps and discrimination against female employees.

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