An unknown Google employee’s 10-page manifesto that was revealed over the weekend has caused anger for its controversial statements on diversity and women in the workplace. Now, the author has been unmasked and fired from his position for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.”
Former engineer James Damore's document, called “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” claimed, among other things, that biological issues prevented women from being as successful as men in the tech industry, and that Google had created a “politically correct monoculture.”
While not everyone, including some Google employees, disagreed with all of Damore’s statements, it led to the company’s new head of diversity, Danielle Brown, sending out an internal memo that stated: “Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate.”
But fallout from the note continued, leading to CEO Sundar Pichai ending his family vacation early to try and deal with the situation.
"I have been on work related travel in Africa and Europe the past couple of weeks and had just started my family vacation here this week," wrote Pichai in a company-wide memo obtained by Recode . "I have decided to return tomorrow as clearly there's a lot more to discuss as a group — including how we create a more inclusive environment for all."
Pichai, who has scheduled a company meeting for Thursday, added that “portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace […] To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.”
Part of the manifesto alleges that Google employees with conservative views have to “stay in the closet” to avoid discrimination. Pichai addressed this, writing that “people must feel free to express dissent.”
Damore’s firing will doubtlessly add more fuel to what has turned into an explosive topic. As for the man himself, it seems Google hasn’t heard the last of him. In an email to Reuters, Damore said he was "currently exploring all possible legal remedies."