Google fires employee at centre of gender gap memo storm
The Gaza Post | The News of Palestine
The Google employee who wrote a memo blaming “biological differences” for the lack of women in top jobs has been fired, according to reports.
Sundar Pichai, the tech giant’s chief executive, emailed employees on Monday to say that the controversial memo broke the firm’s code of conduct.
The document, which went viral after being shared on Google’s internal message board, argued the under-representation of women in the technology sector is not simply due to bias or discrimination. He said men and women “biologically differ in many ways” and that differences aren’t just “socially constructed”.
The unnamed author wrote: “We need to stop assuming that gender gaps imply sexism.”
The 10-page memo continued: “We always ask why we don’t see women in top leadership positions, but we never ask why we see so many men in these jobs. These positions often require long, stressful hours that may not be worth it if you want a balanced and fulfilling life.
“Status is the primary metric that men are judged on, pushing many men into these higher paying, less satisfying jobs for the status that they entail.”
Mr Pichai, who cut short a family holiday to deal with the memo, admitted that most of its content was “fair to debate”.
But he said: “To suggest a group of our colleagues have traits that make them less biologically suited to that work is offensive and not OK. It is contrary to our basic values and our Code of Conduct.”
He added: “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.”
Google’s new head of diversity Danielle Brown was also quick to criticise the memo. She said the author made “incorrect assumptions about gender”.
Source : Evening standard