Earlier this month, James Damore, a senior Google employee was sacked for writing a 10-page ‘sexist’ memo with remarks that were derogatory towards woman’s position in technology and shared it internally within the company.
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But James Damore isn’t done yet. He’s still lashing at Google for trying to silence an honest discussion backed by scientific research and argues that the tech giant has grown into an intolerant organisation.
According to his op-ed titled ‘Why I was fired by Google’ in the Wall Street Journal, Damore said, “Google is a particularly intense echo chamber because it is in the middle of Silicon Valley and is so life-encompassing as a place to work.”
Damore’s 10-page long memo titled ‘Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber’ stated that women aren’t underrepresented in tech due to some bias in place but because they aren’t psychologically capable enough like their male counterparts.
“Some even live on campus. For many, including myself, working at Google is a major part of their identity, almost ‘like a cult’ with its own leaders and saints, all believed to righteously uphold the sacred motto of ‘Don’t be evil’,” the former-Google employee wrote.
“How did Google, the company that hires the smartest people in the world, become so ideologically driven and intolerant of scientific debate and reasoned argument,” Damore wrote.
Although the Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated that every Googler has a right to express themselves and that the contents of the memo make up for a fair debate, portions of the memo violated Google’s Code of Conduct and ‘cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace’.
Pichai also pointed out that though the memo was offensive to the female gender, it raised good points such as questioning the ‘role of ideology in the workplace, debating whether programs for women and underserved groups are sufficiently open to all’ and other criticisms regarding Google’s training.
“There are coworkers who are questioning whether they can safely express their views in the workplace (especially those with a minority viewpoint). They too feel under threat, and that is also not OK. People must feel free to express dissent,” Pichai said.