A 10-page internal memo written by a Google senior software engineer that challenges the company’s diversity policies has been denounced by employees and outside observers for sexism.
The controversial memo, which is titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” leaked out into social media, prompting a backlash on Twitter.
Google is currently subject to a U.S. Department of Labor investigation for alleged pay bias. It is also implementing initiatives to bring more women and minorities into the tech field.
In the memo obtained by Gizmodo, the unnamed author claims, among other things, that Google has engaged in discriminatory practices in furtherance of diversity by establishing hiring practices focused on gender or race. He also suggests that the company’s dominant leftist culture has alienated political conservatives inside and outside the organization by deemphasizing viewpoint diversity.
He calls for what he describes as an honest discussion of diversity that acknowledges the biases inherent in both the left and the right on the political spectrum.
“Only facts and reason can shed light on these biases, but when it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence.”
He also maintains that, in general, women are more interested in a work-life balance, while men are more status driven.
“I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership…Philosophically, I don’t think we should do arbitrary social engineering of tech just to make it appealing to equal portions of both men and women.”
The engineer later added that he values diversity and inclusion and that he doesn’t question the existence of sexism. By the same token, Google, in his opinion, needs to reassess the progressive echo chamber within which it currently operates.
According to Motherboard which first broke the story, some Google staffers “at least partially agreed” with the sentiments expressed in the manifesto.
Read the entire memo in its full context and draw your own conclusions.
Danielle Brown, Google’s newly hired diversity vice president, issued a statement in response to the engineer’s memo which stated that company doesn’t endorse, promote, or encourage the views expressed by the engineer, Recode reported. Her statement added that “Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate.” She also underscored that Google employees should “feel safe” in expressing differing political views, subject to company policies.
In June 2016, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange claimed that Google was actively engaged in trying to help Hillary Clinton become U.S. president. In a subsequently deleted video, SourceFed asserted that Google was manipulating auto-complete search results to bury negative information about Hillary Clinton.
Some critics of the diversity-challenging memo are demanding that Google fire the software engineer who wrote it. As this is a developing story, watch this space for updates.
Added: During a Periscope broadcast, Andrew Torba — the founder of Twitter competitor GAB — publicly offered the engineer a job if he is forced out of Google. Torba, a Trump supporter, was kicked out of a Silicon Valley start-up organization after a heated online dispute with other members, BuzzFeed explained.
In his remarks, Torba had this to say, in part.
“If you are a conservative, if you are a Trump supporter, if you are a patriot who believes in individual liberty, who doesn’t believe in all the things that Silicon Valley is pushing now with censorship, with these hates speech rules, all this nonsense, and invading our privacy, and taking all of our most intimate and personal data and selling it to advertisers and potentially governments — who knows what’s going on, folks — there are people inside these companies who want to call this stuff out but can’t because they’ll lose their livelihood…”
[Featured Image by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images]