A screed from a Googler against the company’s diversity policies appears to be circulating internally at the company, according to Gizmodo, which has published the memo.
Motherboard first reported on the existence of the document making the rounds, which Googlers condemned on Twitter. In it, the author of the “manifesto” appears to try to argue that the gender gap in technology is not a product of discrimination — but rather inherent biological differences between men and women in general.
“I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes,” the memo states at the beginning as published by Gizmodo. “When addressing the gap in representation in the population, we need to look at population level differences in distributions. If we can’t have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem. Psychological safety is built on mutual respect and acceptance, but unfortunately our culture of shaming and misrepresentation is disrespectful and unaccepting of anyone outside its echo chamber.”
Update: It looks like Motherboard has an internal response from Danielle Brown, Google’s new VP of Diversity, Integrity Governance. Here’s part of what she says, according to Motherboard:
“Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions. But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.”
Brown also says that document is “not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages,” according to Motherboard.
Silicon Valley as a whole is in the middle of a huge wave of controversy as stories of sexism within the startup ecosystem and at companies like Uber are becoming public. We’ve reached out to Google to verify the memo, as well as asked whether or not the company plans any kind of action in response to this. On Twitter, however, some Google employees are furious.
Internal article circulated at work today describing how gender rep gap in SW is due to biological differences btwn men/women.
— Sarah Adams (@sadams007) August 4, 2017
That garbage fire of a document is trash and you are wonderful coworkers who I am extremely lucky to work with.
— Andrew Bonventre (@andybons) August 4, 2017
Today’s rage-read (at work): doc essentially saying that women are unsuited for tech because they like people, whilst men like things.
— Aimee (@aimeeble) August 4, 2017
Write a doc about how inferior women are, then try to be a hero by offering help to save the *vulnerable* 🤢🤢🤢 Still shaking in anger.
— Jaana B. Dogan 👀 (@rakyll) August 4, 2017
The timing of this is kind of awkward as Google was hit with a lawsuit in January to obtain compensation data, ending up with a snafu over gender pay discrimination. The document, reportedly titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” appears to have begun circulating in the company Friday night when Motherboard first reported the news.
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