Google fires author of anti-diversity memo

Google headquarters in Mountain View California on Feb. 18 2016. File

Google headquarters in Mountain View California on Feb. 18 2016. File

Some right-wing websites lionized Damore and accused the company of censoring conservative views.

In a memo, the company claimed Damore had advanced "harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace", despite the fact that numerous psychologists, male and female, deemed the manifesto to be scientifically accurate. Had Damore made his screed a document for debate rather than an outright assertion that biological differences divided the genders into different ability camps, this might have gone another way.

The engineer, James Damore, said he was sacked for "perpetuating gender stereotypes".

Breitbart published the first of what it said was a series of interviews with "rebels of Google" who claim the company is stifling dissent.

Reactions to the memo inside Google have been fierce and divisive. The company's shares closed on Monday, essentially unchanged.

Prior to news of the firing, Google CEO Sundar Pichai had sent a company-wide email titled "Our words matter", condemning what CNET delicately describes as "a controversial memo that argued biology prevents women from being as successful as men in the tech industry". However, to achieve a more equal gender and race representation, Google has created several discriminatory practices: "Programs, mentoring, and classes only for people with a certain gender or race; a high priority queue and special treatment for "diversity" candidates; hiring practices which can effectively lower the bar for "diversity" candidates by decreasing the false negative rate".

Reuters and Bloomberg reported Tuesday that the engineer had been fired, citing emails they received from him. "We'll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul". Google has declined to comment. According to the company's most recent demographic report, 69 percent of its workforce and 80 percent of its technical staff are male. It recently began trying to boost its number of black engineers through a partnership with historically black colleges and universities. "You have just created a textbook hostile workplace environment", he wrote.

The Google CEO also said that there are employees who are questioning whether they can safely express their opinions, especially ones that might fall into a minority. Ellis says she left Google because she was sexually harassed. Pichai called parts of the memo "offensive" and said it violated the company's Code of Conduct.

People continued to support Damore after news of his firing became public. One meme doing the rounds online reworked Google's famous logo to read "Goolag", a reference to Soviet-era forced-labor camps.

More: In a widely shared tweet, Eric Weinstein of Peter Thiel's investment firm Thiel Capital wrote, "Stop teaching my girl that her path to financial freedom lies not in coding but in complaining to HR".

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