James Damore Google employee fired after anti diversity manifesto ascribing gender inequality in the tech industry to biological differences.
Damore, a software engineer at the behemoth tech company confirmed his dismissal saying he’d been dismissed for ‘perpetuating gender stereotypes’ in an email to Bloomberg on Monday.
Damore said he is exploring all possible legal remedies.
Wrote Damore in a 10-page internal company memo, titled, ‘Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,’ last week, in part, ‘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’.
In his memo, Damore argued that women are underrepresented in tech not because they face bias and discrimination in the workplace, but because of inherent psychological differences between men and women.
While adding, ‘We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism’.
The memo also accused Google of silencing conservative political opinions.
James Damore, the Google engineer who wrote the memo, said he will likely take legal action against the company. Believes G acted illegally.
— Daisuke Wakabayashi (@daiwaka) August 8, 2017
Responded Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai in an internal email to staff, ‘First, let me say that we strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves, and much of what was in that memo is fair to debate, regardless of whether a vast majority of Googlers disagree with it.’
While adding, ‘Portions of the memo violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace’.
‘To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK.’
Responding to the imbroglio, Google said it could not talk about individual employee cases reported recode.
The memo stoked a heated debate over treatment of women in the male-dominated Silicon Valley that has boiled for months following sexual harassment scandals at Uber Technologies Inc and several venture capital firms.
Noted bloomberg: ‘….is the latest in a long string of incidents concerning gender bias and diversity in the tech enclave. Uber Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick lost his job in June amid scandals over sexual harassment, discrimination and an aggressive culture. Ellen Pao’s gender-discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2015 also brought the issue to light, and more women are speaking up to say they’ve been sidelined in the male-dominated industry, especially in engineering roles.’
Google’s vice president of diversity, Danielle Brown, sent a memo in response to the furor, saying the engineer’s essay ‘advanced incorrect assumptions about gender.’
Of note, the memo comes as Google fends off a lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Labor alleging the company systemically discriminates against women.
Google has denied the charges, arguing that it doesn’t have a gender gap in pay, but has declined to share full salary information with the government. According to the company’s most recent demographic report, 69 percent of its workforce and 80 percent of its technical staff are male.
Damore’s memo which was up for days without action by Google — went viral within the search giant’s internal discussion boards this weekend, with some decrying it and others defending it.
A regard of Damore’s Linkedln profile notes the ousted engineer first coming on board for Google as an intern from May, 2013 to August 2013 before getting a full time start in December.
From 2007-2010 Damore attended the University of Illinois graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular biology, Physics, and Chemistry. In 2013, he graduated with a PhD in Systems biology from Harvard University.
Damore’s online CV lists his research experience, relevant skills and awards
Damore has allegedly since received death threats since been outed.