James Damore, fired by Google over his memo arguing that biology may in part explain the scarcity of women in tech, has some advice to his former employer.
“If Google continues to ignore the very real issues raised by its diversity policies and corporate culture, it will be walking blind into the future — unable to meet the needs of its remarkable employees and sure to disappoint its billions of users,” the software engineer wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Aug. 11.
Damore’s sacking added fuel to America’s culture wars and led to plans for an alt-right “March on Google” protest for Aug. 19. In his op-ed, Damore noted that he’d argued in his memo that Google’s “ideological echo chamber” meant views such as his were suppressed within the company.
“My firing neatly confirms that point,” he wrote (paywall).
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“How did Google, the company that hires the smartest people in the world, become so ideologically driven and intolerant of scientific debate and reasoned argument?”
“Population differences in interest may be part of the explanation for why there are fewer women in the applicant pool, but the women who choose to enter the pool are just as capable as the larger number of men in the pool,” Haidt and Stevens wrote.
“This conclusion does not deny that various forms of bias, harassment, and discouragement exist and contribute to outcome disparities, nor does it imply that the differences in interest are biologically fixed and cannot be changed in future generations.”
Photo: A Google data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. (AP Photo/Google, Connie Zhou, File)
Tags: Damore, engineer, fired, gender, Google, James Damore, Jonathan Haidt, memo, men, women