Google has fired an engineer for disseminating an internal memo that outlined gender differences as a way to criticize the company’s aims to improve diversity.
The employee, James Damore, has confirmed his firing and is ““currently exploring all possible legal remedies,” according to Bloomberg.
Damore’s memo sought to explain that the gender pay gap was natural because of biological differences between the sexes and that Silicon Valley’s lack of diversity is easily explained away by women not being suited for jobs in tech.
The memo, which included graphs and charts, pointed to personality differences between men and women ‘explaining’ why there are less women in the tech industry.
These differences included women having a “lower stress tolerance.”
From Damore’s memo explaining women’s inherent personality traits:
“Neuroticism (higher anxiety, lower stress tolerance). This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs.”
The Google engineer went on to write about how people on the right and left have natural prejudices against certain scientific facts:
“Just as some on the Right deny science that runs counter to the “God > humans > environment” hierarchy (e.g., evolution and climate change) the Left tends to deny science concerning biological differences between people (e.g., IQ and sex differences).”
Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, wrote a public note in response to Damore’s memo. Pichai expressed that while there were legitimate points made in the memo about groupthink at the company, Damore crossed the line.
“The memo has clearly impacted our co-workers, some of whom are hurting and feel judged based on their gender. Our co-workers shouldn’t have to worry that each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting, they have to prove that they are not like the memo states, being ‘agreeable’ rather than ‘assertive,’ showing a ‘lower stress tolerance,’ or being ‘neurotic.’”
In response to his firing, Damore has submitted a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board as he believes Google has illegally terminated him.
“I have a legal right to express my concerns about the terms and conditions of my working environment and to bring up potentially illegal behavior, which is what my document does.”
What a mess.
Ironically, Damore’s efforts to explain away the massive gulf in gender hires in Silicon Valley because of biological differences between the sexes, as opposed to the inherent gender bias in the field, actually just prove the problems in Silicon Valley.
As did the reaction on social media.
Eric Weinstein, managing director at Thiel Capital, tweeted that Google had taught his daughter “that the path to financial freedom lies not in coding but in complaining to HR.”
Stop teaching my girl that her path to financial freedom lies not in coding but in complaining to HR.
Thx in advance,
— Eric Weinstein (@EricRWeinstein) August 8, 2017
There’s been significant conservative outcry since news of Damore’s firing broke.
Google: Women improve workplaces because they are different from men.
Memo Guy: Women are different, on average, from men.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 8, 2017
it’s going be a long fucking week pic.twitter.com/eYtKxg5plw
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) August 8, 2017
It doesn’t really matter what you think of Damore’s memo, which was stupid, bigoted, and self-important, there’s no way you should be sending a 10-page document to your entire company about how men and women are biologically different.
I’m sure this story will just get bigger and bigger as people on the left and right continue to argue about the virtues of biological differences between men and women.
It’s clear Silicon Valley has a cultural problems of sexism and lack of diversity.
Companies like Google are trying to openly address these issues and naturally the more conservative employees of those companies will see this as some sort of leftist plot against THE WHITE MAN.
Everyone just chill the fuck out. Diversity is good. Sending 10-page memos about why women aren’t fit for your job is bad. It’s not that deep.