Google recently fired a software engineer from its firm for writing an anti-diverse memo. According to Google, the engineer wrote a document which was inclined towards criticizing the company’s efforts towards diversity. The document actually went viral and as soon as the CEO of Google came to know about the matter, he fired the engineer.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google wrote a memo to his employees stating that:
“To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to [Google’s] work is offensive and not OK. It is contrary to our basic values and our code of conduct”
The writer of the memo was identified to be James Damore. Although Google declined to discuss about the whole case, it left a link on twitter following the CEO’s comments on the case which stated that:
“Our co-workers shouldn’t have to worry that each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting, they have to prove they are not like the memo states, being ‘agreeable’ rather than ‘assertive’, showing ‘lower stress tolerance’ or being ‘neurotic’”
The memo was actually 10 pages long and was first published internally. However on Saturday, the document was leaked to the press and the case came to light from there. The document entitled as the Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber aimed at criticizing the company’s initiatives towards diversity and inclusion. These initiatives included bias training and programs to promote minorities and women. The document also stated that the company is intolerant of conservative political views.
The memo read:
“When it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence”
Gender discrimination in the company
According to the memo, the author made claims about the gender disparity in Google’s employees as a result of differences between men and women. This might be true to some point as the percentage of men in Google is extremely high than that of women. Among these men, most of them are white and Asian. Only 1% of the workforce is Afro-American while women amount to only 20% of the total employees at the company.
Wage discrimination case
Besides that, Google is currently engaged in a legal battle with the US Department of Labor as the company has been accused for wage discrimination. According to data presented by the DOL lawyer, Google has been quite discriminative against women in the industry. The attorney said:
“At this point the department has received compelling evidence of very significant discrimination against women in the most common positions at Google headquarters”
On the other hand, Google denied all the claims made against it.
With the release of the memo, there has been a commotion between employees as they demanded to fire the author for writing such stuff. On the other hand, a number of workers raised concerns about firing an employee just because he expressed unpopular views about the company.
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Sundar Pichai, in his memo also talked about the freedom of expression. He added that:
“Many points raised in the memo – such as the portions criticising Google’s trainings, questioning the role of ideology in the workplace, and debating whether programs for women and underserved groups are sufficiently open to all – are important topics.
“The author had a right to express their views on those topics – we encourage an environment in which people can do this and it remains our policy to not take action against anyone for prompting these discussions”
Google is not the first company to face such allegations including discrimination, sexism, and harassment. Previously in June, the CEO of Uber also resigned due to a similar case while firing 20 employees as a result of allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination inside the company.
Source: The Guardian