A number of Google employees appear to support an anti-diversity document written by a software engineer, reports Motherboard. The document, titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” was distributed internally, and calls for the company to replace its diversity initiatives with ones that promote “ideological diversity.” In it, the author writes that there are “inherent physiological differences between men and women,” which he says is the reason women are underrepresented in tech. The full 10-page manifesto was published by Gizmodo on Saturday.
“Honestly, more people have been agreeing with it than I would like,” said a current Google employee who spoke to Motherboard on the condition of anonymity. “From what I’ve seen it’s been a mix of women saying, ‘This is terrible and it’s been distracting me from my work and it shouldn’t be allowed;’ Men and women saying ‘this is horrible but we need to let him have a voice;’ and men saying ‘This is so brave, I agree,'” the employee said. Those comments were from internal emails sent between Google employees.
The article is publicly supported by many people internally.
Begs the question, how many privately support/agreee/subscribe.
— Sarah Adams (@sadams007) August 5, 2017
There are many people at Google who share this guy’s views. They do peer performance reviews and interview people. They discriminate.
— Kelly Ellis (@justkelly_ok) August 5, 2017
One employee Motherboard spoke to who agreed with the manifesto said that “the fact that colleagues are calling for him to be fired — on very public forums — proves his point that there is an ideological silo and that dissenting opinions want to be silenced. Why don’t they debate him on his argument? Because it’s easier to virtue signal by mentioning on a social network how angry and offended you are. Debate and discussion takes time.”
Google employees were also using in-house discussion app Blind to talk about the document. “The fella who posted that is extremely brave,” one comment in a thread on the app said, according to screenshots seen by Motherboard. “We need more people standing up against the insanity. Otherwise ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ which is essentially a pipeline from Women’s and African Studies into Google, will ruin the company,”
According to Google, 80 percent of its tech employees are men, compared to just 20 percent who are women. (That’s a one percent increase from the previous year.) When looking at the company overall, the balance is only slightly better, with 69 percent of employees men and 31 percent women.
In an internal memo, Google’s vice president of diversity, integrity and governance Danielle Brown said, “Part of building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions. But that discourse needs to work alongside the principles of equal employment found in our Code of Conduct, policies, and anti-discrimination laws.”
Brown said the manifesto “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender,” and maintained the perspective is not one she or Google endorses. “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.”