Last week Silicon Valley saw an uproar after a Google engineer released an internal memo attacking the idea that gender diversity within the tech industry is a good idea or a goal worth reaching for.
James Damore blamed inequality in the technology industry on the biological differences between men and women, which led to his dismissal for 'perpetuating gender stereotypes'. Damore confirmed his firing in an email to Reuters, and explained that he was exploring all legal options.
Prior to his firing, Damore submitted a charge to the US National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), knowing that it is illegal for a corporation to retaliate against such a charge. He has accused upper management at Google of trying to shame him into silence amidst the outrage caused by the note.
His memo, which went out to other Google employees, said: “The distribution of preferences and abilities of men and women differ in part due to biological causes and [...] these differences may explain why we don't see equal representation of women in tech and leadership.”
Google's Chief Executive Sundar Pichai later sent a note out to all employees stating that parts of the memo “violate our Code of Conduct and cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace,” according to a copy seen by Reuters.
Tech companies including Google are publicly demonstrate their commitment to diversifying the workforce within the industry, and make clear that opinions held by the likes of Damore are not reflective of tech companies or the direction that they wish to head in.
Despite efforts to create more gender equality within the industry, the percentage of women in tech still remains low, specifically in management and engineering roles. We're pleased that Google stepped forward and dealt with the matter, maybe it might be an idea to hire a female engineer in his place?