Internal Google memo against diversity goes viral, gets author fired

August 9, 2017

Last week an engineer at Google sent a memo around the company decrying the tech giant’s diversity initiatives. This week, James Damore was fired over the document.

The memo was titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” and posted to an internal company message board. In it, Damore argues that women make up a lower percentage of employees at Google mainly because of their biology, not discrimination.

As Vox.com reports:

Damore’s memo specifically criticizes the company for its ongoing diversity and inclusion initiatives, which include encouraging its employees to take classes in unconscious bias. He uses primarily stereotyped misconceptions about men and women to argue that “gender gaps do not always imply sexism,” and declares that “discriminating just to increase the representation of women in tech” is “misguided and biased” as well as “unfair, divisive, and bad for business.”

It’s raising questions inside outside the company whether or not Google is violating Damore’s free-speech rights by letting him go over his views.

It’s a thorny question, and part of a broader discussion in society on what, where, and how people can express themselves. In an earlier episode of The Goldwaters, the family discussed free speech and its place in today’s society.

In the episode, Anne-France Goldwater, Daniel Goldwater, and Samantha Goldwater-Adler really dig into free speech and whether we’re too quick to clamp down on ideas some label offensive.

You can listen here on Soundcloud:

And don’t forget, you can subscribe to new episodes of the podcast with iTunesand RSS for when the family returns from a summer break next month.

PHOTO CREDIT: Niharb/Flickr

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