Monday, 21 August, 2017

Google fires employee over diversity memo

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Derrick Tucker | 09 August, 2017, 00:26

The email from Pichai did not say whether Damore would be fired for writing it.

According to BBC, Google's chief executive Sundar Pichai said that the controversial memo's author had been fired as he had broken the firm's code of conduct and crossed a line by "advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace".

He added that people at Google needed to "stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism".

An anti-diversity manifesto written by a Google employee went viral which cited that the company must concentrate more on "ideological diversity" rather than stepping up initiatives on gender and racial diversification. "If we can't have an honest discussion about this, then we can never truly solve the problem".

The engineer had last week responded to Google's efforts to change its white male-dominated culture by posting the internal memo.

Software engineer James Damore was sacked on Monday for violating the company's code of conduct.

One of the main issues taken from the memo was that it suggested there were fewer women at Google due to biological differences.

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The brazen statement comes as companies in the technology sector, such as Google and rideshare app Uber, struggle to overcome complaints of festering gender discrimination and sexual harassment against women employees.

Pichai also said in his email that there are Google employees who are questioning whether they can safely express their opinions, especially ones that might fall into a minority.

Google's new head of diversity Danielle Brown was also quick to criticise the memo.

"We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we'll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul". Fifty-six per cent of its workers are white and 35 per cent are Asian, while Hispanic and Black employees make up four per cent and two per cent of its workforce, respectively, according to the company's latest diversity report.

Despite losing his job at Google, Damore has been offered a job at Gab, a Twitter competitor for free speech activists, and at WikiLeaks.

Bloomberg was first to get a confirmation for the firing from the affected employee; Google declined to confirm the termination when contacted by Variety.

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