Google has fired the engineer behind an anti-diversity missive that reignited heated debate over treatment of women in Silicon Valley, including a string of sexual harassment scandals. Matthew Larotonda reports.
Google has fired the employee behind an internal company memo that alleged huge gaps in representation between men and women in the tech industry were due to "biological" differences. The Google engineer, James Damore, confirming his dismissal to Reuters and that he's exploring legal measures in response. The 10 page documented, titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber," circulated last week. It claims women "prefer jobs in social or artistic areas" while "more men may like coding," and that this split in personality was due to genetics rather than culture or societal constructs. It also states biology is why fewer women are found in leadership roles and that "we need to stop assuming gender pay gaps imply sexism". It ignited a firestorm in Silicon Valley, which has been under intense scrutiny in recent months regarding its lack of diversity. Less than a third of Google's global employees are women and the number is much lower in its tech and management divisions. Black or Hispanic workers: only about six percent in the U.S. A string sexual harassment suits at other tech companies including Uber has only fanned the flames. Google's leadership told its employees that Damore crossed a line and advanced harmful stereotypes, according to an email seen by Reuters. But earlier this year the U.S. Department of Labor said pay gaps at the tech giant appeared to be systemic.