Google sacks engineer over memo defending gender bias

Silicon Valley's capital city San Jose California is seen in this aerial

Silicon Valley's capital city San Jose California is seen in this aerial

A Google engineer got fired this week for distributing a 10-page memo arguing that the gender gap between men and women working in tech and leadership positions is due to biological and psychological differences.

The memo which was titled "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber", led to a lot of anger within the tech quarters as it suggested that women preferred to work outside the tech department because they were anxious. Damore was sacked days after the memo went viral online. Not the one about the firing of Google Memo author James Damore, which has been taking up oxygen in online conversation all week.

Google said Damore violated its code of conduct and his actions advanced harmful gender stereotypes. "For many, including myself, working at Google is a major part of their identity, nearly "like a cult" with its own leaders and saints, all believed to righteously uphold the sacred motto of "Don't be evil", the former-Google employee wrote.

"The mob would have set upon anyone who openly agreed with me or even tolerated my views", he said.

Quite surprisingly, Apple employees were split nearly evenly with 51 to 49 employees favouring Google's decision to fire Damore. "I think what's really inspiring is they did this on their own - basically", Johnson added.

In an essay published in The Wall Street Journal on Friday, Mr. Damore said "there was no outcry or charge of misogyny" when he shared the memo initially. Googlers are writing in, concerned about their safety and anxious they may be "outed" publicly for asking a question in the Town Hall.

Damore asserted in his 3,000-word document that circulated inside the company last week that "Google's left bias has created a politically correct monoculture" which prevented honest discussion of diversity.

On Thursday, as Google prepared to hold a companywide meeting to discuss the memo, questions submitted by employees for the event on another internal system called Dory started to appear in the media.

Damore's Twitter account has nearly 60,000 followers despite starting days ago. It has become an all-out culture war outside the company, as well, putting Google and its employees in the crosshairs. We have allowed Google to build a near-monopoly on its services though acquisitions as well as innovation, and transformed a pioneering and plucky start-up into an organization that could easily partner up with Big Brother if the opportunity arose.

For its part, Google must now grapple with possible lawsuits; a fired employee who's fast becoming a public figure; an ongoing debate over the limits of free speech; a surge of employees leaking information; and a struggle to protect employees as it becomes the latest villain for the alt-right.

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