In mid-August, James Damore, a senior software engineer at Google, wrote a memo titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” This ten-page manifesto calls for the company to replace the current diversity initiatives Google currently has, towards ones that would promote “ideological diversity.” The text went on to accuse the business of a left-wing political bias in the workforce that has led towards the discrimination of male employees. Damore goes on to back up his opinion that women have “inherent biological traits” that would make it harder for them to do well in engineering positions at various tech companies, such as Google.
Damore went on to stereotype women as being more susceptible to being moody or experiencing feelings of anxiety, worry, jealousy, etc.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent out a memo the following week addressing his staff that stated he values discussions of Google’s diversity programs but feels that some of the statements made in the memo were harmful towards other employees at Google.
“We strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it. However, portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace,” Pichai said in the memo. “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.”
Google proceeded to fire James Damore for his comments.
For me, it seems that gender inequality is still a major issue in our world today. Google firing that employee who felt that many of his co-workers were inferior was the right move for the company, and it says a lot about how Google wants to be perceived. I’m hoping that the memo does not discourage women from the tech and engineering industry. In fact, I feel that it should empower many of our women today to show people with these harmful opinions wrong. Women shouldn’t be left out in a progressing world where we need everyone’s help to form a better future.
Reading the memo was frustrating and confusing since it’s mind boggling how people can still have such discriminatory views of women in the 2017 technological era we live in.
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has since spoken out about the controversial manifesto and shared how she has experienced similar discriminatory attitudes throughout her career.
“I’ve had my abilities and commitment to my job questioned,” Wojcicki wrote in a blog. “I’ve been left out of key industry events and social gatherings. I’ve had meetings with external leaders where they primarily addressed the more junior male colleagues.”
This is why I believe we need more acceptance and diversity in the workplace right now, more than ever. We need to get rid of the days where the “middle-aged white man” is the epitome of business. Businesses need to have open ideas and new ways of thinking to where everyone working there may feel comfortable and more likely to collaborate and succeed together. Diversity will help reach more costumers and people. Your staff will be able to relate to more of your customers and can target a wider range of clients.
We need to be able to discuss these types of subjects comfortably and overcome them in a civil matter, and thus we can make the perfect work environment.