A controversial document criticizing Google’s policies on diversity and written by a senior software engineer employed there went viral within the company on Saturday, according to employees.
Vice’s tech vertical, Motherboard, first reported on the document, which began circulating on Friday. Gizmodo obtained and published it in full after this story went live, and Google executives responded to it later in the day, stating that the company does not “endorse, promote or encourage” the author’s viewpoint.
“We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism,” the author wrote at one point, and, “I’m simply stating that the distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and that these differences may explain why we don’t see equal representation of women in tech and leadership.”
The 10-page manifesto, entitled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” was initially shared on an internal messaging service before spreading throughout the company, according to an employee who spoke to BuzzFeed News on condition of anonymity for fear of being fired. The memo argues in part that Google should not offer programs for racial minorities or women.
The document also claims that employees with conservative political beliefs face discrimination within Google and that programs focused on racial and gender diversity are less important than those protecting “ideological diversity.”
More than eight employees tweeted about the document on Friday and Saturday before it was made public.
Software engineer Jaana Dogan tweeted that she would “consider leaving the company for the first time in five years” if Google’s human resources department did not take action in response to the document.
“What a great feeling,” another software engineer tweeted sarcastically, in response to the document circulating.
Andrew Bonventre, who works on Google’s Go programming language, called it a “garbage fire of a document” and “trash.”
Google vice president Ari Balogh, who is reportedly the author’s supervisor, responded to the document in an internal memo Friday, first published by ReCode.
“Questioning our assumptions and sharing different perspectives is an important part of our culture, and we want to continue fostering an environment where it’s safe to engage in challenging conversations in a thoughtful way,” Balough wrote. “But, in the process of doing that, we cannot allow stereotyping and harmful assumptions to play any part.”
Balough added that he was particularly “troubled” by the document’s statements about men and women, calling it “stereotyping” and “harmful.”
Google is currently under investigation by the US Department of Labor for gender discrimination in the workplace. One department official testified in court that the federal agency has found “systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce.” Google has denied the allegations.
In June, Uber founder Travis Kalanick stepped down as CEO, months after an employee made allegations on Tumblr of rampant gender discrimination at the company. The blog post prompted an independent internal investigation into Uber’s workplace culture and led to the termination of 20 executives.
As the Google employee memo started to make headlines Saturday, Google’s new vice president of diversity, Danielle Brown, issued her own response, stating that the the ideas espoused in the document are “not a viewpoint that I or this company endorses, promotes or encourages.”
Read more : https://www.buzzfeed.com/coralewis/google-diversity-manifesto?utm_term=.stdXo1k3x#.xpXjXpx72