Google fires employee James Damore,who wrote an internal memo about women representation at workplace
California,August8:Alphabet Inc’s Google has fired an employee who wrote an internal memo that ascribed gender inequality in the technology industry to biological differences.
James Damore, the engineer who wrote the memo, confirmed his dismissal saying that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes,” in an email to Reuters on Monday.
Damore said he is exploring all possible legal remedies.
Google said it could not talk about individual employee cases.
“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,” James wrote in an internal company memo last week.
“Portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace,” Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai said in an internal email viewed by Reuters on Monday.
He added, “Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership. Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.”
In a section seemingly added after the original document was posted, Damore wrote:
I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don’t endorse using stereotypes. 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. Despite what the public response seems to have been, I’ve gotten many personal messages from fellow Googlers expressing their gratitude for bringing up these very important issues which they agree with but would never have the courage to say or defend because of our shaming culture and the possibility of being fired. This needs to change.
The memo stoked a heated debate over treatment of women in the male-dominated Silicon Valley that has boiled for months following sexual harassment scandals at Uber Technologies Inc and several venture capital firms.
Google’s vice president of diversity, Danielle Brown, sent a memo in response to the furor, saying the engineer’s essay “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender.”