Google Fires Employee Who Wrote That Anti-Diversity Manifesto
On Monday evening, Bloomberg reported that Google fired the employee behind the anti-diversity manifesto that's been causing such a stir. The employee, James Damore, confirmed his own firing to the news outlet. Google meanwhile has not commented publicly on the corrective action, but the tech giant's chief executive officer, Sundar Pichai, did speak out against it earlier Monday.
Both the employee's comments to Bloomberg via email and Pichai's statement circulated to employees point to his views on traditional gender norms being a key factor in the dismissal. Pichai explained that certain arguments in the manifesto "violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace." The CEO's response was sent to employees as a memo. He fully explained what was wrong with Damore's words:
Conservative at Google writes sexist manifesto demanding end to inclusion of women and PoC.— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) August 5, 2017
Who's getting fired?
Attention was first brought to the 10-page manifesto when some employees started tweeting about its contents. Vice's Motherboard was the first to report its existence. The main offensive argument was that the lack of women in tech and software engineering is due to biological differences. It also criticized the existence of diversity programs for women and people of color at the company. He also suggested that Google should focus on "ideological diversity" instead.
It may have taken a few days for the employee to be fired, but Google had already responded over the weekend. The company's head of diversity, Danielle Brown, was one of the first to respond internally to employees:
we obtained the most comprehensive version of that Google document. charts and hyperlinks incl. to show his sourcinghttps://t.co/KeIwDcQRZd— Sarah Emerson (@SarahNEmerson) August 7, 2017
Not everyone, though, at the company was against the contents. According to Motherboard, some employees have expressed dismay at the amount of support it is seeing. One employee told the news outlet:
Google has made growing diversity a focus in recent years, but even still 80 percent of the tech staff and 75 percent of the leadership is men according to the 2017 diversity report. The company overall is 56 percent white and 35 percent Asian. It's also being sued by the Department of Labor for "systemic compensation disparities" based on gender.
Thus firing the author of the manifesto is really just the beginning.