Saturday, 21 October, 2017

Google Cancels Employee Meeting Over Damore's Anti-diversity Memo

Dozens Of Female Employees Accuse Google Of Gender Discrimination Another Google nail in liberty's coffin
Cecilia Poole | 12 August, 2017, 00:15

Damore's anti-diversity memo led many employees to raise questions, and those questions were leaked outside the company, further raising concerns about online harassment.

Speaking at a coding competition, CEO Sundar Pichai addressed teams of teen girls, telling them that there "is a place for you at Google".

However, after news emerged that Damore had been fired by Google for his claims, he proceeded to speak with right-leaning YouTube personalities claiming that he had been "smeared" and "shamed" by Google's executives. Pichai wrote, however, that Damore made some claims that violated some of Google's policies, so that's why he needed to leave.

The 28-year-old's "anti-diversity manifesto"-a lengthy memo that outlined his reasoning that there are genetic differences in women that explain their underrepresention in Silicon Valley-went viral and was met with criticism within and outside Google".

The memo, a 10-page-long essay criticizing Google's efforts to boost workplace diversity, was penned by engineer James Damore, whom CEO Sundar Pichai has since dismissed. Pichai was named CEO in 2015. In a note to employees this week, Pichai said, "To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK".

Google, meanwhile, is known best for providing its employees with arguably one of the best working conditions in the world, handing out free meals, massages and fitness classes at its California, USA, headquarters.

One post showed him standing outside Google's Mountain View campus holding a sign that reads "fired for truth". Indeed, to build effective teams, companies must embrace a variety of different views, including from those who acutely feel the loss of privilege as the culture and composition of a company changes.

Damore said in the Bloomberg interview he was "hurt" by the firing.

Google is now under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor over claims it did not fairly pay some female employees.

USA lawmakers in Congress have also urged Google and the whole tech industry to take a hard look at their diversity and inclusion policies, noting they could do better to bring more women and minority representation into the mix.

At Apple, about 49 percent employees thought Google was wrong to fire Damore.

Pichai's latest statement holds significance, especially at a time when Google has hogged the limelight for the infamous internal memo ex-employee Damore wrote about how men performed better in the tech industry as compared to women. Google Vice President for Education Maggie Johnson said, "It's definitely a defining moment for Google and our culture".

"I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don't endorse using stereotypes".

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