Over the weekend, reports of an ‘anti-diversity manifesto’ written by a senior engineer at Google started circulating in the media. The screed, titled ‘Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,’ has prompted a backlash from employees, company executives, and the press.
The 10-page document was published and shared as early as Thursday, and by Friday it had already triggered various responses among colleagues of the author. While most have deemed it sexist and discriminatory, others claim it has gained support by some silent voices at the company.
Timing on this scandal is nothing short of troublesome for Google, who is currently under investigation by the Department of Labor on claims of payment inequality between men and women. Startups in the tech industry have also recently suffered from several instances of sexual harassment at the executive level.
The author should be fired by now. Otherwise DOL & the EEOC are going to eat Google's lunch. And everybody sues https://t.co/OigUWmcWUW
— Mikki Kendall (@Karnythia) August 5, 2017
Why is this manifesto so scandalous?
The male senior engineer who penned the manifesto claims he is all up for inclusion and diversity, not perpetuating stereotypes, and against sexism in general. However, the essential takeaway from his written piece is that women are naturally unsuited to do the same tech jobs men usually do.
“Biological causes” and “personality differences” are seemingly insurmountable obstacles for women, according to the author, leading a few of them to pursue jobs in tech with unsuccessful results.
Even feminine ambition is disputed since the author claims men aim towards high-paying and challenging positions like back-end development because they bring with them a certain status, while women tend to seek becoming artists or working with people before anything else.
In that sense, the document also proposes that men’s mindsets are configured in such a way that they deal with things systematically, whereas women, again, are more socially-oriented and show a higher interest in people.
These “facts” in combination with organizational, left-leaning biases at Google, have led top executives to drive the corporate culture towards one of ideological discrimination and political correctness where these “important issues” cannot be brought up without being shut down, according to the author.
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
What does Google have to say about it?
Danielle Brown, Google’s new VP of Diversity, Integrity, and Governance, responded to the company-wide outrage on Saturday afternoon with a memo of her own. In it, she states that the document “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender.”
Ari Balogh, another Google executive, wrote in an internal G+ post that “building an open, inclusive environment is core to who we are.” Brown further reaffirmed this stance, saying the industry-leading firm fosters a culture in which people feel safe sharing their opinions regardless of what they are.
The only caveat, though, is that the ideas must be presented according to Google’s internal policies and codes of conduct, something that the media infers was not quite right with the engineer’s manifesto last week.
He, on the other hand, closed his long winded written piece with a series of suggestions that included “stop alienating conservatives” so that those with different views were able to express themselves freely.