Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has reportedly fired James Damore after he sent an internal memo around the Silicon Valley offices blaming tech imbalances on biological differences between men and women.
The male engineer has confirmed his dismissal in a note, saying he was fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes”. He has warned that he is “currently exploring all possible legal remedies.”
The 10-page document was published internally but leaked to the press over the weekend. ‘Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber’ criticizes Google’s “diversity and inclusion” initiatives, such as programs that are aimed specifically at women and under-represented minorities. Damore used the ‘manifesto’ to argue the company is intolerant of conservative political views.
“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 document read.
“Women, on average, have more: Openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things, relative to men.
These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas. More men may like coding because it requires systemizing and even within SWEs, comparatively more women work on front end, which deals with both people and aesthetics.”
Similarly to the majority of Silicon Valley’s top tech companies, Google’s workforce is overwhelmingly male, white and Asian. According to Google’s most recent diversity report, women contribute to 20 percent of the tech workforce, and African Americans just one percent.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a memo to employees: “Many points raised in the memo – such as the portions criticising Google’s trainings, questioning the role of ideology in the workplace, and debating whether programs for women and underserved groups are sufficiently open to all – are important topics.
“The author had a right to express their views on those topics – we encourage an environment in which people can do this and it remains our policy to not take action against anyone for prompting these discussions.”