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A Google employee’s anti-diversity rant has infuriated many inside the company, and after the 10-page rant made its way onto the internet, a company vice president has issued her own statement in opposition to the anonymous employee’s written tirade.
First reported by Motherboard, a software engineer’s memo, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” came to light this weekend when a number of upset Google employees tweeted about it. The author made the argument that the representation gap between genders in the software engineering field is due to biological differences.
In his memo, obtained in full by Gizmodo, he wrote women have “openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men (also interpreted as empathizing vs. systemizing). These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing and … comparatively more women work on front end, which deals with both people and aesthetics. … This leads to women generally having a harder time negotiating salary, asking for raises, speaking up, and leading. Note that these are just average differences and there’s overlap between men and women, but this is seen solely as a women’s issue.”
The engineer also said Google should not offer programs that help underrepresented minorities.
I strongly believe in gender and racial diversity, and I think we should strive for more. However, to achieve a more equal gender and race representation, Google has created several discriminatory practices:
- Programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race
- A high priority queue and special treatment for “diversity” candidates
- Hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for “diversity” candidates by decreasing the false negative rate
- Reconsidering any set of people if it’s not “diverse” enough, but not showing that same scrutiny in the reverse direction (clear confirmation bias)
- Setting org level OKRs for increased representation which can incentivize illegal discrimination
These practices are based on false assumptions generated by our biases and can actually increase race and gender tensions. We’re told by senior leadership that what we’re doing is both the morally and economically correct thing to do, but without evidence this is just veiled left ideology that can irreparably harm Google.
In his piece, the man also writes about why Google should confront its biases, stop restricting “programs and classes to certain genders or races,” deemphasize empathy, and be open “about the science of human nature.”
Apparently, the author had support for his positions.
The author is now in contact with me explaining why he received *supportive* response + more are going to leave if we don't fix the culture.— jbd (@rakyll) August 4, 2017
On Saturday evening, Danielle Brown, the VP of diversity, integrity and governance, sent out a memo, saying that diversity and inclusion would continue to be utilized at Google.
“Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate,” Brown wrote. “We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul …
“Strong stands elicit strong reactions. Changing a culture is hard, and it’s often uncomfortable. But I firmly believe Google is doing the right thing, and that’s why I took this job. Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions. But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.”
In April, the Department of Labor began investigating Google after it was accused of having an “extreme” gender pay gap. A month later, Google said it was too expensive to gather the type of wage data needed to determine if women were truly paid less than men.
Gizmodo has obtained the entire 10-page memo here.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.