One of the free bikes at Google HQ in Palo Alto. Photo: Roman Boed. Flickr.
One of the free bikes at Google HQ in Palo Alto. Photo: Roman Boed. Flickr.

Google Fires Engineer Who Wrote Memo Criticizing Diversity Initiatives


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Google fired a software engineer who argued in an internal memo that the low number of women in technical positions was partly a result of biological differences instead of discrimination.

In the memo, called “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,”  the engineer railed against workplace diversity efforts, illustrating a deeper problem with the tech industry: that its built-in cultural biases may be self-perpetuating, as reported in The Atlantic.

The memo was leaked to the press on Saturday, angering several managers within the company and in Silicon Valley. The document critized Google’s “diversity and inclusion” initiatives, such as special programs to promote women and  minorities. 

“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,” the author wrote. 

Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote an email to his employees saying 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.”

In the last months, several cases of sexual harassment have sparked in Silicon Valley, showing evidence of sexism in the tech industry. 

Dave McClure, founder of top accelerator 500 Startups, resigned July 3, after a female founder alleged she had been sexually harassed by him.

Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, also stepped down on June 20 after five major Uber shareholders demanded his resignation over sexist accusations pending against him.





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