Monday, 21 August, 2017

Google diversity push attacked by one of its own

Anti-diversity document written by Google employee encounters mass internal criticism Google is fighting with itself over an internal anti-diversity memo
Cecilia Poole | 07 August, 2017, 01:10

Google employees are up in arms after a senior engineer at the company penned an anti-diversity manifesto that has spread through the company like wildfire.

The script argues against the search giant's inclusivity and diversity strategy on the grounds that - from a non-biased standpoint - "men and women biologically differ in many ways" and that "these differences aren't just socially constructed".

The engineer, in a memo that has gone viral, provided a detailed list of what he called possible "non-bias" causes for the under-representation of women in the industry, saying that the company's left-leaning workplace culture prevents honest discussion of the issue. Report from an online news portal Motherboard says that the employee argued in his written document that the gap between men and women in software engineering exist due to their biological differences.

The memo has also highlighted significant issues in Google like the political beliefs of employees being targeted, enmity against the "leftist" school of thought, and trying to shape the perspectives of employees' forcefully.

He goes on to argue that the company's diversity drives have created a "politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence". Its existence was first reported by Motherboard, and Gizmodo obtained the entire document and published it in full on Saturday.

Men are more likely to value "things" whereas women value "people" and have more openness to "feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas", according to the memo.

We've reached out to Google for comment, and will update if we hear back.

The employee also said that Google group-think has done harm and that the company is alienating conservatives.

Joy urged tech leaders to look closely at the work environments that allow employees to "feel safe and protected now to go ahead and say that women can't be engineers". It is also implementing initiatives to bring more women and minorities into the tech field. "But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our code of conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws".

The document, which ricocheted across the internet over the weekend, was swiftly denounced by some Google employees who expressed support for their female colleagues and frustration with the realities of working in tech - a sector not removed from the polarized politics of the nation. In April, the US Department of Labor said that it had found "systemic compensation disparities" against women across nearly the whole of the company's workforce, with Janet Herold, regional solicitor for the DoL, describing the discrimination against women at Google as "quite extreme". "That is stereotyping, and it is harmful", Google VP of engineering Ari Balogh wrote.

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