A software engineer at Google has been fired by the company for writing a 10-page memo that dared to question the validity, fairness, and legality of the company’s diversity policy.
According to James Damore, the author of the controversial memo, Google’s fixation on ensuring a diverse company environment has been a costly endeavor that has ultimately ostracized and alienated some of the company’s other employees. Damore contends it is unrealistic for Google to ensure equal representation of women in technology and leadership at the company because such a policy ignores the “personality differences” between men and women as a result of their biology. It also ignores the reality that there is an unequal distribution of men and women in the industry in general. In doing so, Damore argues that the company’s diversity policy is “unfair, divisive, and bad for business” and quite possibly illegal.
In an interview with YouTube chat-show host Stefan Molyneux, Damore explained that he was inspired to write the memo titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” after attending a “secretive” diversity training session that left him feeling uneasy.
He explains that he was tired of Google employees constantly being told that they had implicit biases that were holding women back.
“At Google, we’re regularly told that implicit (unconscious) and explicit biases are holding women back in tech and leadership,” he writes. And while he accepts that bias certainly does exist, it is “far from the whole story.”
Damore’s memo goes on to outline other factors that may be affecting the number of women in technology and leadership positions, relying heavily on statistics and biological facts to support his case.
Damore explains that the biology plays a role in the personalities of men and women, which can determine the positions they seek or those for which they are suited. As women are less competitive and more cooperative than men, for example, they may not be as aggressive in their pursuit of promotions. Additionally, top leadership positions often require long, stressful hours, which often do not align with women’s quests for a good job/life balance.
But despite assertions from those on the Left and in the mainstream media, Damore’s memo does not say that women are biologically incapable of performing in technological positions or in leadership roles. His memo, in fact, makes recommendations for how to reduce the company’s gender gap that recognizes the personality differences between men and women rather than ignoring them and trying to force equality at the expense of more deserving employees.
Damore recommends, for instance, that since women tend to be more cooperative and have a stronger interest in people rather than things, “We can make software engineering more people-oriented with pair programming and more collaboration.”
Beyond just the issues Damore raises over the company’s diversity policy, he contends that anyone who disagrees with Google’s left-leaning positions, including those having to do with company diversity initiatives, are forced into silence. He writes that Google has created a “politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence.”
Almost as if to prove Damore’s point, Google took swift action to fire Damore, thereby permanently silencing him. Danielle Brown, the vice president of diversity, integrity, and governance, said that Damore’s points were “incorrect” despite his reliance on biological and statistical evidence and that his viewpoints are not “endorsed, promoted or encouraged” by Google. And therefore, he is not welcome at Google.
Damore’s supporters are pointing to this as further evidence that Google does indeed have a bias against right-wing employees. Likewise, several Google employees have screenshot internal Google posts which reveal comments by other Google employees that state they will create blacklists of any employees opposed to the company’s diversity initiatives.
Damore states that he may pursue legal action against the company, contending that he was fired for blowing the whistle on potentially illegal behavior at the company and raising awareness about behavior that alienates some of the company’s employees.
Meanwhile, Damore has already found a great deal of support outside of Google. A crowdfunding has been created to raise funds on his behalf, while he has received job offers from Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, and conservative pundit, Ben Shapiro.