Software engineer James Damore was sacked on Monday for violating the company's code of conduct. The memo states, "We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism", and includes a number of suggestions, including "stop alienating conservatives", "de-moralize diversity", and "de-emphasize empathy". The senior engineer also cited "men's higher drive for status".
Damore's internal manifesto went viral inside the company and sparked outrage and reaction from tech workers and former Google employees, like engineer Erica Baker, who worked there for nine years. According to Google's own publically available statistics on diversity, men make up 69 percent of the company's overall workforce. On the other hand, Mashable reports considerable push back among potential recruits who worry they may be entering a toxic environment.
Ellis said she left Google in 2014 after she was sexually harassed.
But, as the employee memo shows, not everyone at Google is happy with this.
Damore wrote that his "larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don't fit a certain ideology". "It's your peers writing feedback on your work".
The controversy comes as increasing numbers of women are going public with complaints of gender-based discrimination in Silicon Valley.
Kenyans are voting in an election that pits President Uhuru Kenyatta against challenger Raila Odinga in an East African economic hub known as much for its relative, long-term stability as the ethnic allegiances. Pichai responded directly to the memo, saying it "crossed the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace".
The outcome of that dispute is not known.
The US Department of Labor is investigating whether Google has unlawfully paid women less than men. By late Monday, Pichai had added his name to the executives weighing in publicly against the memo.
I will confess I too used to wonder whether women could handle stress the way men can - right up until the day I saw my wife give birth without anesthetic.
And most seriously, the author does not appear to understand the consequences of what he wrote, either for others or himself. What liberals view as wrong-think is actual diversity. Thousands of our readers, people just like you, have already registered with Business Grapevine and we would like you to join in - its FREE!
Bloomberg was first to get a confirmation for the firing from the affected employee; Google declined to confirm the termination when contacted by Variety.
At times, the author appears to take conflicting positions. I hope he was not delivering a box of Threadrippers. "But unless there's consequences to it, it doesn't matter".