Last Friday, amidst Google’s highly-public attempts to fix its gender imbalance, a 10-page document titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber” made the rounds on its internal email system.
The note, penned by a male software engineer at the company, argued that the underrepresentation of women in tech is a result of “inherent psychological differences” between men and women — not bias and discrimination.
Oh, do tell…
In his letter, the author begins with a defensible point (no problem can be solved without open, honest discourse), but then quickly degenerates into some dubious points, including:
- Women are less likely to be programmers due to biological differences (they are “more interested in people than things”)
- Google should cancel programs aimed at helping underprivileged groups
- Making conservatives more comfortable in the workplace is more important than improving racial and gender diversity
The author claims to have received many notes from fellow employees thanking him for pointing out the issues — but on Twitter, responses from Googlers were overwhelmingly critical.
Not to mention an official response on behalf of the company from Google’s recently hired VP for Diversity, Integrity and Governance, Danielle Brown, panning the opinion.
It’s a symptom of an underlying problem
In 2015, the Department of Labor conducted a diversity audit on Google and found “systemic compensation disparities against women” (6-7 standard deviations) across the entire workforce.
When Google failed to heed a request for additional data earlier this year, the DoL sued. Last month, Google was ordered to hand over a smaller trove of data — a fact they boasted about on their company blog.
So, as controversial as the manifesto is, the real issue at hand is the fact that Google has, thus far, largely resisted a fully transparent discussion of its gender imbalances. And if nothing else, at least this has forced them to acknowledge it.
(via The Hustle)