Google has reportedly fired the senior software engineer who authored the 10-page memo that challenged the company’s diversity policies.
The controversial 10-page internal memorandum that was titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” leaked out onto social media over the weekend, creating a backlash. The memo was denounced by employees and outside observers for sexism.
Various news outlets indicate that the author of the memo is James Damore, who reportedly studied biology at Harvard before joining the Google staff.
News of the firing prompted the hashtag #GoogleManifesto to trend on Twitter.
At the risk of oversimplification, the memo argued that biological differences between men and women, in part, explain why tech is more of a male-dominated field. The author also claimed that Google has engaged in discriminatory practices in furtherance of diversity by establishing hiring protocols focused on gender or race. He also suggested that the dominant politically correct, leftist culture at Google has alienated political conservatives inside and outside the organization by deemphasizing viewpoint diversity. He also claimed that workers who also question the company’s elevation of diversity as a primary objective are shamed into silence.
According to NPR, some female Google employees stayed home on Monday because the memo made them uncomfortable.
Google is currently subject to a U.S. Department of Labor investigation for alleged systemic pay bias. Against that backdrop, it is implementing initiatives to bring more women and minorities into the tech field.
Read the entire memo in its full context and draw your own conclusions.
According to Bloomberg Technology, the author of the Google manifesto is now out of a job.
“James Damore, the Google engineer who wrote the note, confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying that he had been fired for ‘perpetuating gender stereotypes.’ A Google representative didn’t immediately return a request for comment.”
Google CEO Sundar Pichai issued a memo of his own to employees today that didn’t touch on the employee’s status but explained that that Damore’s epistle violated the company’s code of conduct and advanced what Pichai described as harmful workplace gender stereotypes, Bloomberg added.
Here, story: James Damore, Google engineer who wrote memo, says he was fired for "perpetuating gender stereotypes" https://t.co/LZCPtconCT— Ellen Huet (@ellenhuet) August 8, 2017
“Damore’s email has become radioactive for Google, with many within the company also calling for repercussions,” The Daily Caller observed.
On Periscope, however, Andrew Torba — the founder of Twitter competitor Gab — publicly offered the software engineer a job even before he was let go by Google. He repeated the offer this evening on several Periscope broadcasts once the news of James Damore’s firing by Google broke.
The termination of James Damore by Google will likely reignite the debate over affirmative action policies in Silicon Valley and in other industries as well as raise questions about the tech industry’s tolerance for dissenting opinions.
Damore told Reuters that he is “exploring all possible legal remedies.”
As this is a developing story, watch this space for updates.
[Featured Image by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images]