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Google fires author of anti-diversity memo

Google fires author of anti-diversity memo”

James Damore's firing offense: He circulated an internal memo arguing that the company's efforts to bring more women into tech jobs - where they're now outnumbered by men 4-to-1 - just might be futile given women's genetic makeup, which he deemed an imperfect fit for a hyper-competitive workplace.

Pichai has indirectly confirmed through his words that the employee is likely to be fired, but the Google Spokesperson has not confirmed anything about the employee.

The Google employee memo, which gained attention online over the weekend, begins by saying that only honest discussion will address a lack of equity.

His 10-page memo, "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber", argued that "personality differences" between men and women - like a woman having a lower tolerance for stress - help explain why there were fewer women in engineering and leadership roles at the company.

"We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism", writes the author.

After the controversy swelled, Danielle Brown, Google's new vice-president for diversity, integrity and governance, sent a statement to staff condemning Mr Damore's views and reaffirmed the company's stance on diversity. The fact of the matter is Google is a company.

Damore believes he was illegally dismissed, and is thinking of pursuing legal action against Google. He, however, took a hard line position on the suggestion that some of the employees were disadvantaged or lesser equipped to perform due to their biological nature.

Employers can have a policy to create whatever culture they want inside the business, and to get rid of employees who do not fit in that environment, as long as that policy does not discriminate against a class of people based on characteristics such as gender, age or race, according experts.

Damore tells CBS News that before he was sacked, he complained to the National Labor Relations Board that Google was trying to silence him. "Before being fired, I submitted a charge to the National Labor Relations Board about how Google's upper management is misrepresenting and shaming me in order to silence my complaints".

It first circulated over an internal Google message board, citing biological reasons why women might be less suited to work in tech. After a firestorm of criticism, Google fired the engineer.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai had to step in, as the memo climbed up the ladder over at Mountain View, neighboring tech giants, and other startups.

According to Pichai, Damore was sacked for violating the company's "Code of Conduct".

"What made them feel like that was OK?" Pichai said that he supported the right of workers to express themselves but that the memo had gone too far. Conservative sites like The Federalist saw the firing as proof of Damore's point that Google does not tolerate diversity of opinion. Pichai called parts of the memo "offensive" and said it violated the company's Code of Conduct.



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