Engineer behind controversial manifesto is out at Google

10 August, 2017, 00:41 | Author: Jeannette Greene
  • The ten page document created by a senior software engineer asks for a reform of Google's current policies and encourages a move towards'ideological diversity instead

However, recent events indicate that some of Google's (male) software engineers might have a hard time grasping the fact that it's the twenty-first century. In the interview Damore clarifies, "I went to a diversity programme at Google, it was totally secretive".

The scandal started with the leaked manifesto that argued men occupy more leading roles in the tech industry due to "biological differences" which prompted the company to fire the author.

While Americans enjoy citing their First Amendment right to freedom of speech, there are some boundaries in the workplace.

Damore had accused the tech giant of silencing conservative political opinions.

Corporations are increasingly wary of how their employees express themselves on social media and how they use time or resources while at work to sound off about their views. Someone that works for one of the world's biggest companies actually believes this in 2017.

Damore's goal will be to uncover both direct evidence that Pichai and other decision-makers had unlawful reasons for firing him and evidence of the circumstances surrounding Damore's termination that tend to prove such an unlawful motive. His musings were "not okay", according to Google's CEO, because they "advanced harmful gender stereotypes".

"If an employer is met with someone making statements that unabashedly stereotype based on gender and the employer doesn't respond, the employer may be sued by others who say that discriminatory conduct creates a harassing atmosphere", said Philadelphia-based labor lawyer Jonathan Segal of Duane Morris. But perhaps that has more to do with the current makeup of Google than the strength of Damore's ideas.

However, in April, the US Department of Labor claimed that there are "systemic compensation disparities" as part of an investigation into whether the company is violating federal employment laws in its gender pay practices.

The looming lawsuit comes as Google tries fighting off a misogynistic manifesto criticizing the company for a "left bias" in wanting to help women in tech.

Google has thrown money at the diversity problem - more than a quarter-billion dollars, according to Axios. So, it's not that surprising some within the company might agree with Damore, given they're likely actively perpetuating the bro culture that's permeating the tech industry.

Damore went a step further, however, by arguing that women are not biologically fit for tech roles. The company couldn't stay indifferent to such claims, and a recent report confirmed the dismissal of the engineer. The groups surveyed 21,980 publicly traded companies in 91 countries and found an increase in the share of women in corporate leadership positions from zero to 30 percent would lead to a rise in profitability by 15 percent.

"He surely must have been aware that a new HR director was charged with addressing some of the issues he touched upon", she said, referring to Google's recently hired head of diversity, Danielle Brown. But while the latest scientific research on the subject supports some of his claims, it doesn't support his conclusion.


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