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Googler’s sexism memo splits opinion about Silicon Valley gender roles

GOOGLE HAS BEEN firefighting after an internal memo which suggested that women were being passed over for top tech jobs because of their biology caught the attention of employees. And they didn’t like it.

The unnamed software engineer responsible for the memo said: “We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism”.

But despite a barrage of abuse from those that disagreed with his stance, he claims that he has also had a number of messages of support from fellow employees.

His 10-page memo entitled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” was reported by Motherboard last week before being published in full on Gizmodo.

Gizmodo reports that the message was published on both “an internal memo service used by Googlers” and Google+. We actually thought that was the same thing.

Google is currently being scrutinised by the US Department of Labor (sic) which is fighting with the company over accusations of sexual wage discrimination, amid claims that women are “routinely” paid less than men in the same roles.

But this engineer believes that Google’s left-wing political agenda and accompanying political correctness have affected his free-speech and has actually damaged his “psychological safety”, the exact thing that Google’s policies are designed to protect, and ironically is creating an “oppressive” environment of sacred cows.

It goes on to say that, much like the recent Oscars controversies, by introducing quotas, it can preclude getting the “best” in favour of getting a “balance”.

In particular, the letter criticises the introduction of training courses aimed at specific sexes and age groups suggesting that Google should open attendance to all Googlers.

Google’s new vice president of Diversity, Integrity Governance, Danielle Brown has already weighed in on the topic, saying: “Google has taken a strong stand on this issue, by releasing its demographic data and creating a company wide OKR on diversity and inclusion. Strong stands elicit strong reactions.

“Changing a culture is hard, and it’s often uncomfortable. But I firmly believe Google is doing the right thing, and that’s why I took this job.”

It’s a tricky one because some would say that he has made valid points. But then he makes sweeping generalisations like women “prefer jobs in social or artistic areas” while “more men may like coding” and you just want to douse yourself in petrol.

Google is far from the only company that has had to deal with the spectre of sexism. Uber has spent the year mopping up after its own sexism scandal and the general vibe of dinkle vs fou-fou in Silicon Valley is a ruddy disaster generally. µ



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