After a 10-page antidiversity manifesto posted in an internal Google employee forum went viral, its author, senior software engineer James Damore, has been fired, the Bloomberg news service reports. His Harvard Ph.D. aside, Damore's rant argued that “gender gaps [do not always] imply sexism” as well as that “discriminating just to increase the representation of women in tech” is “misguided and biased” and “unfair, divisive, and bad for business.”
This "man of science" argued that his female colleagues, due to biology, are more neurotic and have a lower stress tolerance than men as well as less of a drive for "higher status." Soon enough, Google's outraged employees leaked the document, unleashing the hashtag #GoogleManifesto. People on both sides of the debate emerged, speaking out about the role of gender when it comes to working for the tech giant.
+1. Most women & PoC in tech have extraordinarily high stress tolerance & are incredibly resilient. It's required to put up w/ BS like that. https://t.co/IGsj2QffXU
— Julia Grace (@jewelia) August 6, 2017
Saying women can't succeed in tech roles is not so much a "different political opinion" as it is "bigoted" & "gross" #GoogleManifesto
— Martha (@marthamatical) August 6, 2017
The #GoogleManifesto shows no matter how thoughtful, civil, well-intentioned your dissent is, they'll still crush you for it. This is a war.
— J Burton (@JBurtonXP) August 8, 2017
Man in tech: *10 pages on women as biologically bad for tech*
Others: "I wonder why women feel uncomfortable in tech"#GoogleManifesto
— Lexi G (@galantlex) August 6, 2017
— Erin WG (@erin_wg3) August 7, 2017
— Christina Sommers (@CHSommers) August 8, 2017
In an email sent out to the company titled "Our Words Matter," Google CEO Sundar Pichai commented:
To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK. ... The memo has clearly impacted our co-workers, some of whom are hurting and feel judged based on their gender. Our co-workers shouldn’t have to worry that each time they open their mouths to speak in a meeting, they have to prove that they are not like the memo states, being “agreeable” rather than “assertive,” showing a “lower stress tolerance,” or being “neurotic.”
At the same time, there are co-workers who are questioning whether they can safely express their views in the workplace (especially those with a minority viewpoint). They too feel under threat, and that is also not OK. People must feel free to express dissent. So to be clear again, many points raised in the memo — such as the portions criticizing Google’s trainings, questioning the role of ideology in the workplace, and debating whether programs for women and underserved groups are sufficiently open to all — are important topics. The author had a right to express their views on those topics — we encourage an environment in which people can do this and it remains our policy to not take action against anyone for prompting these discussions.
The past few days have been very difficult for many at the company, and we need to find a way to debate issues on which we might disagree — while doing so in line with our Code of Conduct.
Pichai also said portions of the memo violate the code. When Bloomberg asked an aide to the CEO about Damore's firing, the reporter was referred to the memo.
Since the firing, the debate has raged on with questions of stereotyping, standing up, and censorship.
Stop teaching my girl that her path to financial freedom lies not in coding but in complaining to HR.
Thx in advance,
— Eric Weinstein (@EricRWeinstein) August 8, 2017
— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) August 8, 2017
— Graham Rutledge (@grahmuell) August 8, 2017
The real question is how many women at #Google reported the guy to HR before his manifesto and were ignored.
— Tony Angell (@theangellmethod) August 8, 2017
— untied kingdom (@wildwalkerwoman) August 5, 2017
Meanwhile, fundraisers who support his antiquated stereotypes are happy to help. A new campaign seeks to raise a reasonable year's salary ($60,000) for Damore. It has raised $5,360 so far.