A document shared with Google employees that cites physiological differences between men and women as an excuse for lack of diversity in tech is causing an internal uproar at the company.
Motherboard first reported that one of the company’s senior software engineers sent out a revision to the company’s diversity initiatives, instead calling for and encouraging “ideological diversity.” The 10-page document is the employee’s personal opinion, and was sent to a company mailing list before going “internally viral,” according to Motherboard’s source inside Google.
The document has been obtained by Gizmodo in full and dives deeply into why it is more important to be open to conservative ideas than, say, gender equality in the workplace.
The document begins with several bullet points so readers can get the main gist without reading it in its entirety. “Differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership. Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business,” the employee writes.
The author continues to say that Google as a company leans too far to the left and should open up discourse for those who lean right. “At Google, we talk so much about unconscious bias as it applies to race and gender, but we rarely discuss our moral biases,” he writes. “Political orientation is actually a result of deep moral preferences and thus biases. Considering that the overwhelming majority of the social sciences, media, and Google lean left, we should critically examine these prejudices.”
Several Google employees discussed their disgust on Twitter on Thursday and Friday. “Today’s rage-read (at work): doc essentially saying that women are unsuited for tech because they like people, whilst men like things,” one employee tweeted.
“If HR does nothing in this case, I will consider leaving this company for real for the first time in five years,” another employee tweeted.
When TheWrap reached out to Google for comment, they cited VP of Diversity Danielle Brown’s comments in ReCode, which include a memo she sent to the “Googlers.” It says, in part, “Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we’ll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul.”
VP of Engineering Ari Balogh also responded with a memo. “Questioning our assumptions and sharing different perspectives is an important part of our culture, and we want to continue fostering an environment where it’s safe to engage in challenging conversations in a thoughtful way,” he wrote. “But, in the process of doing that, we cannot allow stereotyping and harmful assumptions to play any part. One of the aspects of the post that troubled me deeply was the bias inherent in suggesting that most women, or men, feel or act a certain way. That is stereotyping, and it is harmful.”
“Building an open, inclusive environment is core to who we are, and the right thing to do. ‘Nuff said.”