If you clocked an eye in the direction of the news feed surrounding Silicon Valley (the place, not the show) at the weekend, you’d have noticed a hot mess erupting at breakneck pace.
The hubbub centred around a memo written by a Google employee that slammed the company’s efforts to promote diversity in its employee base. The memo went viral within the company with many employees – and former employees – taking to social media to voice their anger and disgust with its contents. The memo was then leaked to Gizmodo, and things just snowballed from there.
Now, reports have emerged that the author of the memo, an engineer named James Damore, has been fired. Ars-Technica says Damore confirmed his dismissal in an email to Bloomberg.
The memo, which was entitled ‘Google’s Idealogical Echo Chamber’ (you can read the whole thing over on Motherboard) was riddled with gender stereotypes, which Damore presented as evidence for the tech industry’s gender gap and lack of diversity.
Damore also put forward the notion that women are naturally more prone to avoid stressful situations and this could account for a general lack of interest they have in entering tech.
“This may contribute to the higher levels of anxiety women report on Googlegeist and to the lower number of women in high stress jobs,” he wrote.
The memo – and the subsequent fallout it caused – put Google in a pretty bad place. On the one hand the company has always promoted openness in respect to the opinions and ideas of its employees. On the other Google, along with a lot of other tech companies, has been criticised recently for not doing enough to promote diversity in the tech industry’s employee base.
In a statement, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai said that “portions of the memo violate our code of conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”